Pros and Cons of Living in Columbus, OH

I have been living in Columbus, OH for about 12 years and sometimes I do wish I live in a bigger city.  My dream is to move back to Seattle someday or anywhere in West Coast.  Not only it’s closer to fly back home, I also feel there are more diversity in the big city.  I love Seattle because I used to live there for two years; beautiful city, lots of good authentic Asian food, lots of things to do.  So I decided to compile the pros and cons of living in Columbus and hopefully I can focus on the positive aspects of living here.


  1. Lack of diversity.  There is no Chinatown and a lot of authentic food don’t last very long perhaps due to not having enough customers and dealing with a strick health department Nazi.  I understand there are procedures to follow from the health department.  But do you think neighborhood restaurants in New York City can actually pass Ohio health department’s inspection?  I don’t think so
  2. The city of sweatshirts.  People wear jeans and sweatshirts everywhere, to the grocery stores, malls, concert, even to work.  This one really drives me totally insane
  3. Lack of small local businesses.  The economy in this city is driven by either chain/franchise or big box stores.  Thus all they offer is very much cookie cutter.  There are plenty of downtown historic in the suburbs with cute little boutiques or bakeries, but only few that are attractive
  4. Lack of public transportation and sidewalk.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we don’t have to drive to go to downtown?  Not only we save on gas, we don’t have to deal with parking
  5. The closest metropolitan city is Chicago, which is 6 hours away driving.  When I live in Seattle, Portland is only 5 hours away and Vancouver is 3 hours away
  6. Not enough outdoor activity.  All we have is a fake pond people call beach and a stack of dirt people call hills (OK I’m being dramatic here)


  1. Don’t have to deal with traffic, everywhere you go from East to West or from North to South is within 20 – 30 minutes distance
  2. There is no serious Natural Disasters (e.g. no earthquake, hurricane, severe snow storm).  I experience an earthquake when I lived in Seattle.  Although it was mild but still was the scariest moment in my life.  We have an occassion severe thunderstorm or flood, but normally it only affects the rural area.  Sometimes we got snowed in and schools and businesses are closed, but nothing serious that makes me want to get out of here
  3. Mortgage is cheap, you get more square footage for the price you pay.  My friend who lives in a suburb of San Fransisco own a two bedroom two bath 1000 sq ft condo that costs him $300K.  His condo looks like my apartment back in College days
  4. Good school district with cheaper tax
  5. It’s growing and will keep on growing.  Compare to what it was when I first stepped my foot in this town, Columbus was beyond growing
  6. Pretty good job market even in this economy.  Unemployment is still an issue in this city, but really nothing compares to California or any major cities
  7. Overall living expenses is pretty affordable

So I guess the pros and cons are about fifty fifty, though I think Columbus is more attractive for young families.  If you’re single and a career driven person, this city will bore you to death.  I guess living in Columbus is not so bad afterall.


  1. chelle says

    I think Columbus is pretty diverse compared to most states excluding large cities like LA, NYC, Chicago. You just have to know where to go. I’m Asian and I know there’s a lot of Africans, Jamaicans, Chinese, Thai, Cambodian, places to go.

  2. says

    Awesome post ! There are definitely more pros to living here in my opinion!
    Lots of great opportunities for people who own land and property here.
    If you do and are looking for a handyman check out Campus Handyman.

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