The Columbus Foundation and the Columbus Partnership first began the work of creating a Benchmarking report in late 2005. Annual editions of the report in 2007, 2008 and 2009 transitioned to biannual reports in 2011 and 2013. Thus the release of the 2016 Benchmarking Central Ohio report represents the 6th edition of this report.
Benchmarking Central Ohio began by comparing the Columbus MSA against 15 other metro areas on 91 different indicators grouped into 5 different categories. The 2016 edition uses the same the categories, which include Population Vitality, Economic Strength, Personal Prosperity, Lifelong Learning, and Community Wellbeing, but increases the number of comparison communities (to 22, up from 15) and decreases the number of indicators (to make the report more manageable; from 91 to 56.)