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Columbia is home to the University of Missouri and two smaller colleges. The area has a distinct college-town feel and most of the amenities that you would expect in a college town. Columbia also has an economic base in the insurance and medical technology industries. The downtown is clean and lively, the population is friendly and progressive; some say it is the Midwest with just a slight hint of the South. For a town with this profile, Columbia features a low cost of living and promising future job growth projections. There are plenty of recreational opportunities on and off campus, including a large state-of-the-art water park, but some complain things get pretty slow (and hot and sticky) in summers when the students leave town.
The area consists of gently rolling and partially wooded plains at the edge of the broad Missouri River Valley. The climate is continental with moderately cold winters and hot, often humid summers. Summer temperatures generally reach 100 degrees. Early summer rain is frequent and sometimes heavy tapering off to warm, clear, humid days with less rain toward summer’s end. Winter temperatures and conditions are variable, with occasional cold spells alternating with mild days with temperatures rising into the 60’s. Temperatures below 0 degrees occur, but not every winter. Snow falls every winter but snow cover rarely persists more than 3 weeks. First freeze is mid-October, last is mid-April. .
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