Contact: Amy Schneider, Director
Convention and Visitors Bureau
Livability.com today announced that Columbia is one of America's top college towns, ranked just behind Boulder, Ann Arbor and Gainesville. Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Amy Schneider said the website's independent view confirms what's great about the community.
"This news will draw more eyes - and visitors - to Columbia," Schneider said. "Everyone's commitment to make sure Columbia is a place where you want to live, work and raise a family is paying off."
The following information was provided by Livability.com.
Columbia, MO Named a Top 10 College Town by Livability.com
Fourth Annual List Ranks America's Best College Towns
The best college towns appeal not just to potential students but to potential residents and businesses looking for strong economies and opportunities to grow. With this in mind, Livability.com has named the Top 10 College Towns 2013, the fourth installment in an annual listing of the best college towns in America.
For this installment of the Livability.com list of top college towns, editors narrowed their search to cities with a high quality of life based on a range of factors from cost of living and walkability to cultural amenities and pollution levels. They then focused on those cities where a university is the top employer and key economic driver.
And finally, they considered student to resident ratios, educational attainment, college-led community outreach programs and the percentage of 21- to 34-year-olds (to show that people stick around or move in after graduation).
The rapid growth of Columbia, MO is due largely to the rapid growth of the University of Missouri, affectionately known as Mizzou. As the school's enrollment increased by more than 30 percent the city's population grew by nearly the same percentage between 2000 and 2010. But record growth hasn't diminished Columbia's artsy vibe. Residents and students find themselves equidistant between rivers and research labs, museums and sport venues, restaurants and libraries. It's a bit hard to tell exactly where the campus ends and the city begins.
"For a small to mid-sized town, having a great college or university can add immeasurably to the livability," said editor Matt Carmichael. "Schools provide a level of economic stability, a constant influx of new residents and cultural and sporting events at cities couldn't produce on their own."
Top 10 Best College Towns 2013
1. Boulder, CO
2. Ann Arbor, MI
3. Gainesville, FL
4. Columbia, MO
5. Lexington, KY
6. Iowa City, IA
7. Missoula, MT
8. Madison, WI
9. Fayetteville, AR
10. College Station, TX