Fast facts about MU and Columbia

Thursday, July 29, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

So you know what course you’re going to be doing and where to find MU, but how much do you actually know about MU and Columbia?

Here are some facts to help broaden your knowledge. It will give you something to talk about the next time your friends and family ask you about the place you’re going to be studying at for the next four years.


  • MU brings in an average of $2.4 million in private donations, spends $15.8 million in payroll and wins $4.4 million in outside funds for research, significantly boosting Missouri’s economy.
  • MU’s Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory is the second largest animal diagnostic and pathology lab in the world.
  • There are 358 buildings on the 1,372-acre main campus.
  • The 2009 freshman class had an ACT average of 25.6, compared with the national average of 21.1 and the state average of 21.5. Twenty-five percent come from the top 10 percent of their high school classes.
  • In fall 2009, MU welcomed 31,314 students representing every county in Missouri, every state in the nation and more than 100 countries.
  • MU is the largest employer in Columbia, offering 8,545 jobs. University Hospital is second, offering 4,238 jobs.
  • It is one of only six public universities in the country with medicine, veterinary medicine, law, agriculture and engineering all located on one campus.
  • It is also home to the nation’s largest university-based research reactor – the largest producer of radioisotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.


  • The city has a civilian labor force of more than 201,000 skilled workers.
  • Computer programmers have the highest mean wage rates per hour at $28.45 per hour.
  • The population was last estimated at 102,324.
  • Forbes magazine ranked Columbia fifth in its 2009 Best Small Places for Business & Careers in America and eighth in the Best College Sports Town.
  • Columbia includes over 90 different religious congregations.
  • It has five hospitals, a cancer center and the Family Health Center.

Sources: REDI; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2008 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates;  2009 U.S. Census Bureau; University of Missouri; Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau;

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