Columbia is the capital of South Carolina, a state of the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 116,278. It is the county seat of Richland County. The estimated population for the then two-county metro area was 516,251 in 1999. In June of 2003 the United States Census Bureau added four more counties to the standard metropolitan statistical area, making the 'official' population figures more reflective of the actual makeup of the region and bringing the estimated total to 664,229 residents (Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Fairfield, Calhoun, and Saluda counties) as of July 2002.
On February 17, 1865 during the American Civil War, Columbia was burned and largely destroyed by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman though the handful of Confederate forces defending the city had already surrendered.
Columbia is served by Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 330.8 km² (127.7 mi²). 324.3 km² (125.2 mi²) of it is land and 6.4 km² (2.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.95% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 116,278 people, 42,245 households, and 22,136 families residing in the city. The population density is 358.5/km² (928.6/mi²). There are 46,142 housing units at an average density of 142.3/km² (368.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 49.22% White, 45.98% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. 3.03% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 42,245 households out of which 25.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.5% are married couples living together, 17.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% are non-families. 37.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.21 and the average family size is 2.97.
In the city the population is spread out with 20.1% under the age of 18, 22.9% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 16.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females there are 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $31,141, and the median income for a family is $39,589. Males have a median income of $30,925 versus $24,679 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,853. 22.1% of the population and 17.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 29.7% are under the age of 18 and 16.9% are 65 or older.