The Columbus metro contains a population of nearly 1.9 million and is comprised of eight counties: Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Union, Morrow, Madison and Franklin. The metro's population will increase over the next five years, on par with the national rate. Columbus is the state capital and the largest city in the area, with a population of 801,900 people.
Relatively diverse employment opportunities, Columbus’ designation as the state capital, and the presence of Ohio State University provide a strong foundation for healthy local economic activity. The metro is recognized as an ideal location for businesses. Major corporations are attracted to its low business costs and stellar education system and centralized location. The metro is home to six Fortune 500 companies, including Cardinal Health, Nationwide and Big Lots as well as regional and subsidiary operations.
Columbus has a strong tradition of nurturing local enterprises into national and global powerhouses. Wendy’s and Limited Brands, both with headquarters in Columbus, support thousands of jobs in the metro and are involved in community development. Private investments in downtown Columbus continue to fund revitalization projects to attract young professionals, as well as additional job-creating developments. One such project was the Hollywood Casino, which opened last year. The project brought in 3,500 construction and 2,000 permanent jobs to the former General Motors/Delphi Automotive Plant site.
The metro’s natural landmarks include the Scioto River, which bisects the city, and reservoirs to the north. Franklin County, home to Columbus, is surrounded by mainly rural counties.