Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the fifteenth largest city in the United States of America. It is the county seat of Franklin County, yet the city has expanded and annexed portions of adjoining Delaware County and Fairfield County. Named for explorer Christopher Columbus, the city was founded in 1812 at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, and assumed the functions of state capital in 1816. The city has a diverse economy based on education, government, insurance, banking, fashion, defense, aviation, food, clothes, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology. Modern Columbus has emerged as a technologically sophisticated city. It is home to the world's largest private research and development foundation, the Battelle Memorial Institute; Chemical Abstracts Service, the world's largest clearinghouse of chemical information; NetJets, the world's largest fractional ownership jet aircraft fleet; and The Ohio State University, the nation's largest campus. In 2012, Columbus was ranked in BusinessWeek's top 50 best cities in America.
In 2009, BusinessWeek named the city as the best place in the country to raise a family. Forbes Magazine in 2008 ranked the city as the no. 1 up-and-coming tech city in the nation, and the city was ranked a top ten city by Relocate America in 2010. In 2007, fDi Magazine ranked the city no. 3 in the U.S. for cities of the future, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was rated no. 1 in 2009 by USA Travel Guide.
In 2008, MarketWatch named Columbus as the 7th best place to do business in the nation. In 2011, the city had five corporations named to the U.S. Fortune 500 list including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, American Electric Power, Limited Brands, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, and Big Lots. Major foreign corporations operating or with divisions in the city include Germany-based Siemens and Roxane Laboratories, Finland-based Vaisala, Tomasco Mulciber Inc., A Y Manufacturing, Yachiyo of America and US Yachiyo, Inc.
The population of the city was 787,033 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous city in Ohio.Although Columbus was the 15th largest city in the United States, it has only the 32nd largest metropolitan area, with 1,836,536 residents. It is the fourth most populous state capital in the United States. Census estimates from 2008 indicate that roughly 116,000 of the city's residents are foreign-born, accounting for 82% of the new residents between 2000 and 2006. According to the U.S. Census, the Columbus Combined Statistical Area (which also includes Marion and Chillicothe) has a population of 2,031,229.