Exploring the numbers that describe who we are

Statistics show that, on average, Columbians:

     Live in houses worth $150,000

     Have college degree

     Work at MU

     Vote Democratic

     Drive pickup trucks

     Spend more than $2,000 a year to fill up their vehicles

     Moved temporarily to town and then decided to stay

     Spend twice as much dining out as they do on groceries

     Have a high incidence of heart disease

Three Missourian reporters Jim Buell, Furqaan Sadiq and Brooke Tacker analyzed pages of data to put together a portrait of who we are as Columbians.

They looked at reports from the U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Bureau of Labor Statistics; state departments that monitor health and education; and other sources to describe the average city resident.

This section is a compilation of their research and details where we live and work; how we spend our food budget; where we play; and how we vote; what we drive; and our primary causes of death. The reporters also talked to more than a dozen Columbians to illustrate the data.

Jeanne Abbott, city editor