Columbia is the capital and second largest city of the state of South Carolina, with a population estimate of 133,451 as of 2018. It lies at the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River, which merge at Columbia to form the Congaree River. Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, the state’s flagship university and the largest in the state. Columbia is also the site of Fort Jackson, the largest US Army installation for Basic Combat Training. It is also located 20 miles west of the site of McEntire Joint National Guard Base, which is operated by the U.S. Air Force.
Columbia is home to the South Carolina State House, a Greek Revival building set in gardens dotted with monuments. It also has Riverbanks Zoo & Garden which is a huge park with animal enclosures and botanical gardens. Its strength lies in the Columbia neighborhoods. It is a treasure trove of surprises and delights, intrigue and inspiration for shoppers who love the luxury of choice in everything from fashion to food.
With a vibrant resurgence on Main Street, the evolving artistic environment in The Vista, and the delightfully unique discoveries that await explorers in Five Points, on Devine, along Trenholm and beyond, Columbia’s eclectic variety of shops and galleries make it a community that is a something-for-everyone paradise.
Columbia is home to Richland One school district which is the seventh largest in the state, with more than 23,000 students representing 41 countries and as many languages. Spread over more than 482 square miles, 50 elementary, middle and high schools and centers serve urban, suburban and rural communities in the greater Columbia area. With five major universities and colleges, Columbia offers higher education opportunities that are the envy of many larger cities in the country. The academic quality of these Columbia area institutions is evident in the impressive number of outstanding students, educators and researchers that are attracted year after year from around the world.
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