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Ann Arbor vs. Columbus – how do we compare?

November 21, 2017 Regional Updates
Ohio State and UofM comparison

Our football blog series is back! Like last year, we’re using the football season as an impetus to ask ourselves how we stack up against other, similar regions. How does Ann Arbor compare to other college towns in the US?

So many emotions swirling around for this post… the end of the regular football season, the end of this year’s blog series, and the epic rivalry between Ohio State and University of Michigan. This rivalry goes back a long time – and the games are always scheduled for the end of the season, for a reason.

The Wolverines vs. the Buckeyes is one of the longest and most famous rivalries in American collegiate sports. With such historical significance, we had to provide a rundown of each team’s accomplishments (which objectively are pretty even), making for some of the most exciting games in football. In Big Ten Conference play, Ohio State leads the series 48–46–4 through the 2016 meeting, and has won the last 5 games since 2012. 


In terms of our economic competition, Columbus and Ann Arbor are quite different cities.

  • Columbus is much bigger than Ann Arbor, about 8 times bigger, to be precise. And it’s also a state capital, and state government plays a large part in the economy.
    • In addition, there are four Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Columbus: Nationwide, American Electric Power, L Brands, and Big Lots.
  • Ohio State has about 15,000 more students than U of M and is the 3rd largest university in the US for enrollment (behind Texas A&M and University of Central Florida).
  • Both Columbus and Ann Arbor show up on Livability’s 50 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs, highlighting the attractiveness of both places for entrepreneurship.

Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game, Ann Arbor and Columbus will continue to compete for talent, students, industry, and collegiate sports for years to come.

ICYMI – Here are links to this year’s series on our athletic (and economic) competition!