Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, Mississippi, United States, located primarily east, but also north and northeast of the Tombigbee River, which is also referred to as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway . It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northeast of Jackson, 92 miles (148 km) north of Meridian, 63 miles (101 km) south of Tupelo, 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and 120 miles (193 km) west of Birmingham, Alabama. The population was 25,944 at the 2000 census and 23,640 in 2010. The population in 2012 was estimated to be 23,452. Columbus is the principal city of the Columbus Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Columbus-West Point Combined Statistical Area. Columbus is also part of the area of Mississippi called The Golden Triangle, consisting of Columbus, West Point and Starkville, in the counties of Lowndes, Clay and Oktibbeha.