Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, on the eastern border of Mississippi, United States, located primarily east, but also north and northeast of the Tombigbee River, which is also referred to as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northeast of Jackson, 92 miles (148 km) north of Meridian, 63 miles (101 km) south of Tupelo, 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and 120 miles (193 km) west of Birmingham, Alabama.
The city is located approximately 10 mi (16 km) west of the Mississippi-Alabama state line along U.S. Route 82, U.S. Route 45, and numerous state highways. US 82 leads southeast 29 mi (47 km) to Reform, Alabama and west 25 mi (40 km) to Starkville. US 45 leads south 32 mi (51 km) to Macon and north 28 mi (45 km) to Aberdeen. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.3 square miles (57.8 square kilometers), of which 21.4 square miles (55.5 square kilometers) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 square kilometers) is water. Large lakes and rivers are nearby, such as the Buttahatchee River in northern Lowndes County that defines the border between Lowndes and Monroe counties; in the middle of the City of Columbus and Lowndes County lies the Luxapallila Creek, and the Tombigbee River with the John C. Stennis Lock and Dam impounding Columbus Lake. Columbus is a relatively flat place in the northern part of Lowndes County, as the land rises for a short period of time into hills and bluffs, in the southern/eastern part of the county, the land has rolling hills that quickly turn into flatland floodplains that dominate this county. This county lies in the Black Prairie Geographic Region, and the Northeastern Hills Region of the state/area. Prairies, forests and floodplain forests lie here. The soil quality is poor in the eastern part of the county, otherwise the soil is relatively fertile. Columbus and the surrounding areas are listed as an Arbor Day Hardiness Zone 8a (10 °F or −12.2 °C to 15 °F or −9.4 °C); note that temperatures in 2010 reached 11 °F (−12 °C), but the USDA Hardiness Zones list the area as zone 7b (5 °F or −15.0 °C to 10 °F or −12.2 °C).
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,640 people residing in the city. 60.0% were African American, 37.4% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from some other race, and 1.1% of two or more races. 1.4% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Columbus’ population has grown steadily since the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1900, 6,484 people lived in Columbus; in 1910, 8,988; in 1920, 10,501; and in 1940, 13,645. As of the census of 2000, there were 25,944 people, 10,062 households, and 6,419 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,211.5 people per square mile (467.6/km²). There were 11,112 housing units at an average density of 518.9 per square mile (200.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 43.62% White, 54.41% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.
There were 10,062 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,393, and the median income for a family was $37,068. Males had a median income of $30,773 versus $20,182 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,848.
Columbus Mississippi neighborhoods include: Arrington Park, Cady Hills, E Gaywood St, Elm Lake, Fox Run, Holly Hills, Lone Oak, Name, New Hope, Northaven Woods, North Columbus, Northside, Oakdale Park, Ridge Rd, Southside, Stand Up & Help Out, The Waverly, Tibbee Creek Landing, Timber Cove