Columbia is a planned community comprising 10 self-contained villages in Howard County, Maryland-the second wealthiest county in the United States, according to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau figures. It began with the idea that a city could enhance its residents' quality of life. Creator and developer James W Rouse saw the new community in terms of human values, rather than merely economics and engineering. Opened in 1967, Columbia was intended to not only eliminate the inconveniences of then-current subdivision design, but also eliminate racial, religious, and class segregation.
Columbia has consistently ranked in the top ten of CNN Money's Best Places to Live in America.
Columbia proper consists only of that territory governed by the Columbia Association, but largest areas are included under its name by the U.S. Postal Service and the Census Bureau. These include several other communities which predate Columbia, including Simpsonville, Atholton, and in the case of the census, part of Clarksville. The census-designated place had a population of 103,683 according to 2013 Census estimates, making it the most populous community in Maryland after Baltimore.
VILLAGES and NEIGHBORHOODS
The Lakefront in Downtown Columbia sits upon Lake Kittamaqundi
The village concept aimed to provide Columbia a small-town feel (like Easton, Maryland where James Rouse grew up). Each village comprised several neighborhoods. The village center may contain middle and high schools. All villages have a shopping center, recreational facilities, a community center, a system of bike/walking paths, and homes. Four of the villages have interfaith centers, common worship facilities which are owned and jointly operated by a variety of religious congregations working together.
Most of Columbia's neighborhoods contain single-family homes. Townhomes, condominiums and apartments, though some are more exclusive than others. The original plan, following the neighborhood concept of Clarence Perry, would have had all the children of a neighborhood attend the same school, melding neighborhoods into a community and ensuing that all of Columbia's children get the same high-quality education. Rouse marketed the city as being "color blind" as a proponent of Senator Clark's fair housing legislation. If a neighborhood was filled with too many purchasers of a single race, houses would be blocked until the desired ratio was met.
Columbia takes its names from famous works of art and literature: for example, the neighborhood of Hobbit's Glen takes its street names from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien; Running Brook, from the poetry of Robert Frost; and Clemens Crossing, from the work of Mark Twain. The book Oh, you must live in Columbia! Chronicles the artistic, poetic, and historical origins of the street and place names in Columbia.
In 2006, Money magazine ranked Columbia (together with Ellicott City, its neighbor to the north) #4 out of 100 "Best Places to Live" in the United States in 2008, Columbia and Ellicott City were ranked #8 on the list. In 2010, Columbia and Ellicott City were ranked #2 on the list. In 2012, Columbia and Ellicott City were ranked #8 on the list.
Percentage change from latest quarter vs same time period previous year
Data compiled using 1st quarter 2019 data vs. same period from 2018
|RATING*||SCHOOL NAME||GRADES||SCHOOL TYPE|
|3||Longfellow Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Running Brook Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Swansfield Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|3||Bryant Woods Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Stevens Forest Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Cradlerock Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Phelps Luck Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|3||Talbott Springs Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|4||Waterloo Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Guilford Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|4||Atholton Elementary School||Preschool - 5th Grade||Public|
|N/A||Florida Connections Academy||Kindergarten - 8th Grade||Public|
|4||Clemens Crossing Elementary School||Kindergarten - 5th Grade||Public|
|N/A||Lighthouse Connections Academy||Kindergarten - 12th Grade||Public|
|3||Jeffers Hill Elementary School||Kindergarten - 5th Grade||Public|
|4||Thunder Hill Elementary School||Kindergarten - 5th Grade||Public|
|2||Harpers Choice Middle School||6th Grade - 8th Grade||Public|
|3||Wilde Lake Middle School||6th Grade - 8th Grade||Public|
|2||Lake Elkhorn Middle||6th Grade - 8th Grade||Public|
|2||Oakland Mills Middle School||6th Grade - 8th Grade||Public|
|4||Atholton High School||9th Grade - 12th Grade||Public|
|2||Wilde Lake High School||9th Grade - 12th Grade||Public|
|2||Oakland Mills High School||9th Grade - 12th Grade||Public|
|2||Long Reach High School||9th Grade - 12th Grade||Public|
|3||Hammond High School||9th Grade - 12th Grade||Public|
|N/A||Bryant Woods Montessori Childrens House||Preschool - Kindergarten||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Columbia Montessori School||Preschool - 1St Grade||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Atholton Adventist Academy||Preschool - 10th Grade||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Gan Israel Day School||Preschool - Kindergarten||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Childrens Manor School||Preschool - Kindergarten||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Love Of Learning Montessori School||Preschool - 6th Grade||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Nurturing Nest Montessori||Preschool - Kindergarten||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Julia Brown Montessori School||Preschool - 3Rd Grade||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Celebration Christian Academy||Preschool - Preschool||Private/Charter|
|N/A||Columbia Academy Elementary & Middle School||Preschool - 8th Grade||Private/Charter|
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