Columbia was named No. 1 in Money Magazine's list of top 10 best small cities to live in out of 823 other areas with populations between 50,000 and 300,000.
Named regularly to Money Magazine's list, Columbia was noted for its 3.5 unemployment rate for a population of 102,221.
A Columbia Association spokesman said Columbia has been ranked jointly with Ellicott City in previous years, and shared No. 6 ranking in 2014, the last time the bi-yearly rankings were released for areas with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. Ellicott City was ranked separately this year, according to the spokesman, and did not make the list.
Founded in 1967, Columbia will celebrate its 50th birthday next year. The city's diversity and ongoing redevelopment were also praised in the ranking.
Other cities that made the top 10 of Money Magazine's list this year were Eden Prairie, Minn., No. 2; Plano, Texas, No. 3; West Des Moines, Iowa, No. 4; Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J., No. 5; Highlands Ranch, Col., No. 6; Clarkstown, N.Y., No. 7; Weston, Fla., No. 8; Beaverton, Ore., No. 9; and Naperville, Ill., No. 10.