Money magazine has recognized Columbia as the best place to live in Maryland, and the sixth most desirable community in the nation, according to the recent release of the magazine its “Best Places to Live” ranking. The magazine examined factors such as economic opportunity, supply and demand for homes, cost of living, quality of schools, racial and economic diversity, and health and safety.

In its description of Columbia, Money called the community “much more than your average suburb,” and noted its “multicultural population, exceptional safety statistics and plenty of activities for families and young adults alike.” The magazine also highlighted the vision of urban planner and developer James Rouse to build a place for “joyous living” that includes trails, parks and lakes, and a flourishing arts and culture scene.

To develop its ranking, Money examined 1,370 communities with a population of at least 20,000, which were at least 85 percent as racially diverse as the state; and with a median household income of at least 85 percent of the state median. The magazine then gathered approximately 350 pieces of data on each place, examining economic opportunity, education, fun and amenities, quality of life and other factors.