Columbia has been recognized as the “Safest City in America” by WalletHub for the fourth year in a row. WalletHub compared 182 cities – including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state – across three criteria: home & community safety; natural-disaster risk; and financial safety.

Throughout the pandemic, Wallet Hub wrote, Howard County first responders have served as essential workers and continued their standards of excellence despite the challenges of this year. The Department of Fire and Rescue Services deployed its Mobile Integrated Community Health (MICH) team to vaccinate home-bound residents and operate pop-up vaccination clinics. Additionally, Howard County continues to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the state, with 87.1 percent of eligible (12-plus) residents full vaccinated, and 93.4 percent receiving at least one dose.