#1 Leading Location

Area Development statistically analyzes around 400 MSAs/cities across 21 key economic indicators every year. The combined results identified the top 100 MSAs who are moving in the most upward projection as measured by GMP, job creation, wages and other key economic indicators and whose strengthening economies should be attractive to potential new investment going forward. Once again, Columbus, Indiana, is ranked in the top ten among all U.S. metros, ranking #1 in the Midwest, #2 Small City, and #5 overall in 2019. Learn more.

Business Environment Rankings

  • Top 2% USA Manufacturing Employment (BLS 2019)
  • Home to more mechanical engineers and industrial engineers per worker than any other metropolitan area in the U.S. (BLS 2019)
  • #7 U.S. Metro for Production Occupation Concentration (BLS 2019)
  • #1 U.S. City for Manufacturers (Global Trade/Aug 2020)
  • #1 Metro in U.S. for affordability, education, & growth among young professionals (Pew Charitable Trust, 2017)
  • Ranked one of the top 35 “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” nationwide (Forbes.com 2019)
  • Top 31% “Best Performing Small Cities” for High-Tech GDP & Job Growth (Milken Institute Report 2019)
  • 1 of 30 Best American Cities to Live (BusinessInsider, June 2020)
  • 1 of 17 U.S. “Talent Hub” Cities (Lumina Foundation, 2017)

Nationally Ranked Architecture

Columbus, Indiana is ranked sixth in the nation for architectural innovation and design by the American Institute of Architects, right behind Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C. Visitors to Columbus can see more than 70 buildings and pieces of public art by internationally noted architects and artists, including I.M. Pei and Eliel Saarinen. The Columbus story has been featured in dozens of regional and national publications, including CBS’s Sunday Morning, National Geographic, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Midwest Living. Read more about our world renowned architecture, public art, and tour information at the Columbus Visitors Center.

Site Selection

Columbus, Indiana has made it’s way into the May 2019 edition of the Site Selection magazine where Hoosier Energy and the Bartholomew County REMC are given recognition for their accomplishments done within our city along with the Greater Columbus Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

“Our organization (Columbus Indiana EDC) was formed in 1976 to diversify the economy, and our first foray into FDI came in 1978. We have been pursuing FDI for more than 40 years now.”

Columbus ranks in the top 2% of counties in the U.S. because of the high concentration of manufacturing jobs. This can also be attributed to the city having two regional campuses (Indiana University-Purdue University of Columbus and Purdue Polytechnic), which allows students to receive degrees in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and other related programs.

Indiana Business Environment Rankings

  • Indiana ranks first in the Midwest and 10th nationally in the Tax Foundation’s 2019 Business Tax Climate Index
  • Indiana ranks 5th in the nation (#1 in the Midwest) in Chief Executive magazine’s annual “Best & Worst States” 2019 survey.
  • Indiana ranks first in the Midwest and 10th overall in Area Development magazines “Top States for Doing Business” 2019 study.
  • Indiana had 8.3% union membership in 2019, lower than the U.S. average of 10.3% and lower than all neighboring states.
  • Indiana was the 23rd state in the nation and the first state in the industrial Midwest to pass right-to-work legislation in 2012.