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Ann Arbor Spark

October 4, 2018

Ann Arbor vs. College Park – How Do We Compare?

Our football blog series is back for the third straight year! As before, we’ll use the football season as an impetus to compare Ann Arbor to cities and towns on this year’s schedule. And the question is always – how does Ann Arbor compare to other college towns in the US?

It’s homecoming week in Ann Arbor! The Wolverines hold a 6:1 lead against the Terrapins, having first played each other in 1985. The Terps are named for the diamondback terrapin, a species of land-dwelling turtle common throughout the state.

Located between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD, College Park is a very small town, though connected to our nation’s capital by the DC Metro (about 40 minutes from the White House). The campus in College Park is often considered a commuter school. With about 33,000 residents and 40,000 students, the enrollment at the University of Maryland is greater than their city population. This is a common theme for towns with “college” in their name, it seems —population in the Census is usually calculated in a town by excluding college students. You can check out this article to go deep into the rabbit hole of census data… we’ll be waiting for you when you get back.

Data Dive

Where do we get our numbers? And what do they mean?

  • Population comes from the US Census, 2017 Population Estimates. Check out Ann Arbor’s data here.
  • Enrollment comes from each university’s website (what they report on enrollment).
  • Research spend comes from the National Science Foundation Rankings by Total R&D Expenditures.
  • Educational attainment comes from the US Census 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. We look specifically at the population over the age of 25, and the highest level attained. Check out Ann Arbor’s data here.
  • The rankings come from US News and World Report unless otherwise mentioned.