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

November 15, 2023 Regional Updates

Game 11: Saturday, November 18, 2023 | Michigan vs. Maryland | Beaver Stadium | Noon EST

Ann Arbor SPARK’s popular football blog series is back for Michigan’s 144th 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.?

As the Michigan Wolverines prepare to face the Maryland Terrapins in an exciting away game at SECU Stadium this Saturday, the stakes couldn’t be higher. This weekend’s matchup is not just a regular college football game; it’s a historic moment in the making. The Wolverines, with an impressive 10-0 record and a 7-0 in the Big Ten, are on the brink of a monumental achievement. A victory at Maryland, who stands at 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the conference, would mark Michigan’s 1,000th win—a milestone that no other football program at any level has ever reached. As we gear up for this landmark event, let’s take a moment to compare the two university cities hosting these formidable teams.

College Park, nestled between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and approximately 40 minutes from the White House, is a small city with a population of 34,190. This makes it significantly smaller than Ann Arbor, with a population size of 119,875. Interestingly, the University of Maryland’s College Park enrollment surpasses the city’s population, with 41,272 students enrolled in fall 2021, aptly reflecting the city’s name.

The cost of living and median household income are both higher in the greater Washington, D.C. area compared to Ann Arbor (cost of living index of 126.4 and 99.9, respectively). However, Ann Arbor continues to lead in educational attainment. An impressive 77.2 percent of Ann Arbor’s population over the age of 25 has earned at least a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, College Park has a lower rate, with 48.8 percent of its over-25 population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Besides the University, College Park is home to several significant national entities, such as the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Food and Drug Administration.

As these two regions, each with their own unique strengths and characteristics, come into the spotlight this weekend, we’re reminded of the spirit and vibrancy that college football brings to our communities. It’s not just a game; it’s a celebration of the places, people, and institutions that shape our experiences.

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, 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: 

Benchmarking the Ann Arbor Region: 2023 Economic Competitive Assessment

Game 1: Ann Arbor vs. Greenville, NC

Game 2: Ann Arbor vs. Las Vegas, NV

Game 3: Ann Arbor vs. Bowling Green, OH

Game 4: Ann Arbor vs. New Brunswick, NJ

Game 5: Ann Arbor vs. Lincoln, NE

Game 6: Ann Arbor vs. Minneapolis, MN

Game 7: Ann Arbor vs. Bloomington, IN

Game 8: Ann Arbor vs. East Lansing, MI

Game 9: Ann Arbor vs. West Lafayette, IN

Game 10: Ann Arbor vs. State College, PA