Columbus is a town in Polk County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 999 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Polk County.
The Green River Plantation, J. G. Hughes House, and Polk County Courthouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Columbus is located at 35°15′2″N 82°12′8″W (35.250669, -82.202115). The town is concentrated along North Carolina Highway 108, southeast of Asheville, and just a few miles north of the North Carolina-South Carolina border. U.S. Route 74 passes through the northern part of town, and Interstate 26 passes through the eastern part.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 992 people, 414 households, and 238 families residing in the town. The population density was 559.1 people per square mile (216.4/km2). There were 442 housing units at an average density of 249.1 per square mile (96.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 90.32% White, 5.95% African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.12% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races.