Columbus, OH ranked #1 as the Most Favorable Business Location with Accessibility to the American Market

Columbus, Ohio has long touted it’s accessibility to the American market as a key selling feature to attract new business into the area. Even if this was true in the past, given significant population shifts toward the west and the south in the last few decades, Three Scale Research, Inc. decided to test this claim. Using 2010 census data for the United States, our team, led by GIS Researcher Bobby St. Clair, calculated the population within a one day’s drive or one hour plane flight. This is a 500 mile radius as shown on a map (Figure 2) of the United States, with the Columbus built-up area highlighted. This procedure was done for each of 68 American metropolitan areas that exceed 750,000 persons (Figure 1).


The results are shown in the second map (Figure 3) for the top ten most accessible metropolitan areas in the United States.  While the results are close, Columbus, Ohio (#1) edged out Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (#2) for the top spot.  Ohio metropolitan areas provide a good market to access almost half of the American market, with four out of the top five metros in Ohio, including Dayton (#3), Cleveland (#4) and Cincinnati (#5).Columbus_Metro

The significance of Columbus, Ohio being within 500 miles, at 147.5 million persons or 47.76% of the population of the United States, can be seen with the ranked table (Table 1) of 68 metro areas.  The midpoint of this, or #34 Providence, Rhode Island, is accessible to 24.48% of the US Population.  While no major metro is accessible to half or more of Americans, only the top ten exceed 40%, making these metros important to the logistics and distribution industries.top10