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Ann Arbor vs. Bloomington, IN – How Do We Compare?

October 6, 2022 Regional Updates

Game 6: Saturday, October 8, 2022 | Michigan vs. Indiana| Memorial Stadium | Noon EST

Ann Arbor SPARK’s popular football blog series is back for Michigan’s 143rd season! We use the football season as an opportunity to compare Ann Arbor to cities around the country represented by our U-M football competition. The question is always – how does Ann Arbor compare to other college towns in the U.S.?

The undefeated Wolverines travel to Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, IN this week for their second away game of the season. The Michigan Wolverines and Indiana Hoosiers last met in November last year and the matchup resulted in a win for Michigan. In fact, the two teams have met 70 times since 1900 and Michigan has won a whopping 60 of the 70 games.

Fun fact: it is nearly impossible to find the origin of the term Hoosier, which remains a matter of debate within the state. According to locals, anyone born in Indiana or currently residing in the state is considered a Hoosier. However, anyone who went to Indiana University may also claim the moniker of a Hoosier for life.

Now that we have that off our chests, let’s get serious with our comparison of Ann Arbor and Bloomington. The two cities are relatively similar, unlike some of our other recent comparisons. Bloomington has nearly 42,000 fewer people than Ann Arbor, but Indiana’s enrollment is only 3,705 students less than Michigan’s.

The cost of living and median household incomes are higher in Ann Arbor, but the unemployment rate in Monroe County, Indiana is lower than Washtenaw County’s rate here in Michigan (2.8 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively). Lastly, Ann Arbor and Bloomington were both listed on’s Best Places to Live in the US list for 2022.

Interestingly, in 2017, Indiana University more than doubled its research spending from approximately $200 million to about $485 million. At the time, the massive increase in expenditures propelled Indiana forward in the rankings from #101 to #46, and they have since moved up to #37 with total spending captured at $728.56 million in 2020.

Be on the lookout for our blog posts ahead of each game all season long and be sure to tag us when you share these interesting tidbits with your friends via social media! And, if you want more information like this or are curious to learn more about the Ann Arbor region and what makes it such a great place to live, work, and locate your business in, please reach out to our Director of Research, Melissa Sheldon.

In case you missed it, here are links to the regional comparisons we’ve posted so far this year: 


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