The Columbus and Delaware areas form one of the fastest-growing, most highly educated, most economically vibrant, and healthiest regions of Ohio and the United States.
Columbus: Our Favorite City
Columbus and Central Ohio earn high marks as desirable communities in recognition of their many opportunities and amenities for residents and visitors.
Columbus currently is the 14th largest city in the nation (population 922,200) and is the home of attractions including the Columbus Museum of Art, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Short North Arts District, and both the Columbus Blue Jackets (National Hockey League) and Columbus Crew Soccer Club (Major League Soccer).
Recent accolades for the Columbus region include:
- Columbus is ranked No. 9 among 2020’s top 15 U.S. cities to launch your career based on LinkedIn salary and Zillow rental data.
- The city ranked No. 5 among SmartAsset’s 2020 list of Cities With the Best Work-Life Balance.
- Columbus is ranked No. 11 on Livability.com’s 2020 list of the nation's 100 Best Places to Live.
- The city earned the "highest in visitor satisfaction in the Midwest" ranking on J.D. Power’s 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction Study.
- Columbus is ranked among No. 10 on Porch’s 2019 list of the best U.S. cities for young, growing families.
- The city is ranked No. 18 on The Wall Street Journal’s 2020 list of the Hottest U.S. Job Markets.
- Columbus is ranked by MoneyUnder30.com among the Top 10 LGBTQ+-Friendly Cities for Millennials and No. 28 among Ranker’s (reader-voted) Most Gay-Friendly Cities in America.
For more Columbus news, including relocation information, visit the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Experience Columbus Relocation Guide.
Delaware: Our Hometown
Ohio Wesleyan is located within the City and County of Delaware, both consistently ranked as great places to live, work, and raise a family.
The City of Delaware (population 40,900) has been recognized by Money Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Places to Live in America” and by WalletHub.com for being in the 70th percentile of America’s best small cities based on economic health, affordability, quality of life, safety, and education and health.
The city’s historic downtown – steps away from OWU’s campus – offers a wide variety of shopping and dining as well as seasonal farmers’ markets and monthly “First Friday” celebrations.
Delaware County (population 213,300) is recognized routinely as one of Ohio’s fastest-growing and finest communities, with a desirable quality of life that includes low unemployment and strong schools.
Delaware County residents see the value of education at all levels: 51 percent of its adult residents have a bachelor’s degree. Delaware County is the only county in Ohio where more than half its adult residents have a bachelor’s degree. (The U.S. average is 33 percent.) In addition, 96 percent of the county's adult residents have a high school diploma. (The national average is 88 percent.)
Combined, Delaware City and County offer lots of shopping, dining, and outdoor activities, including two state parks and the popular Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The public secondary schools also are highly regarded, earning accolades for the caliber of the academics and opportunities for students.
Recent accolades for the Delaware area include:
- The City of Delaware is ranked No. 32 on MONEY Magazine’s 2020 list of the Top 50 Best Places to Live in America.
- Downtown Delaware – two blocks from the OWU campus – is recognized as a 2019 “Great Place in America” by the American Planning Association’s 2007-2019 list.
- Delaware County is the No. 1 best place to live in Ohio and No. 24 best place in the nation, according to niche.com’s latest rankings.
- Delaware County is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s Healthiest Communities Rankings 2020.
- Two cities in Delaware County – Powell and Delaware – are ranked No. 1 and No. 9 respectively on wallethub.com’s 2020 list of the Best Places in Ohio to Raise a Family.
- Delaware County is ranked No. 5 in the nation (out of 3,141 counties) for adult literacy and numeracy skills, according to a 2020 report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
- Delaware County is ranked No. 1 in Ohio for growth in business locations with a 129% growth rate from 2001 through 2018. It is No. 2 in Ohio for the biggest absolute increase in total establishments, based on a 2019 Columbus Dispatch analysis.
- Delaware City Schools’ Hayes High School is named a 2020 Best High School by U.S. News and World Report and its Dempsey Middle School earns the Ohio Department of Education’s Momentum Award for the fourth consecutive year in recognition of exceeding expected growth in all student populations.
- Olentangy Schools (located in southern Delaware County) is ranked No. 13 among the best school districts in Ohio on niche.com’s 2021 list of Best Schools. (The county’s other public school districts – Delaware City, Big Walnut, and Buckeye Valley – also make the list.)