A Welcoming, Diverse Community

circle-eeImagine visiting a friendly place where you, your friends, and your family feel welcome.  Now transplant that place to the U.S. Midwest, and you’re getting close to experiencing “Hoosier Hospitality”.  (We’re called “Hoosiers” in Indiana, in case you didn’t know.  What’s a Hoosier?  Well, that’s another story…)

Now take the best hospitality you’ve experienced anywhere (Hoosier or not), and place it in a special community that welcomes people from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe, and you’ll find yourself in Columbus, Indiana.

We’re sincere about being a welcoming place.  So much so, that in 2004 the Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County — conducted the Welcoming Community Project. The research project was inspired by the work of Dr. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class.

The Welcoming Community Study was designed to assess the welcoming factor in Bartholomew County among various groups of people, with a focus on those individuals who can create a vibrant business climate and stimulate future economic growth.  That study revealed some areas for improvement, and in 2011, Welcoming Community II was launched.

Since 2004 and the follow-up of 2011, several efforts have been launched to improve our “Welcome Factor”.  We are grateful for the work of our friends at the Heritage Fund, Columbus Area Multi Ethnic Organization (CAMEO), Columbus Young Professionals (CYP), and many others who are working to make Columbus and Bartholomew County an even more welcoming place.

Interesting Factoids about Columbus as a Welcoming Community:

  • 1,300 students speak 51 unique languages in our public schools.
  • Our Asian population is our 2nd largest resident group, with more than 2,900 persons reporting on the U.S. Census.
  • Hispanic or Latino ethnicity (among any race) comprises 6.3% of the population.
  • Columbus ranks 2nd in nation for concentration of “H-1B” visas for foreign-born workers, with 14.6 per 1,000 workers.
  • Columbus is a leader in welcoming international companies and their employees.  We are the proud home of 21 Japanese companies, 4 German, 4 Chinese, and one company each from France, Switzerland, and Canada.  Combined, our international HQ’d companies employ more than 6,000 persons locally.
  • Our total population has grown 24.3% since 1990 to an estimated 79,129 in 2012.
  • Census figures indicate our population grew by 1,300 persons in 2012, with 48% of our new residents coming from other U.S. locations (domestic migration), 26% from international migration, and 26% from natural increase.