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Ann Arbor vs. Columbus – How do we compare?

November 23, 2016 Regional Updates
Ohio State and UofM comparison

Recap: This fall there are 8 home football games out of the 12-game regular season. We used this rather unprecedented home game advantage 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 the blog series (maybe, depending on the outcome), 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 47–46–4 through the 2015 meeting, so this weekend’s game has a little extra significance – Michigan has a chance to tie the series.

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.
  • Ohio State has about 15,000 more students than U of M – not as large as University of Central Florida, but close.
  • Both Columbus and Ann Arbor show up on Livability’s 50 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs, highlighting the attractiveness of both places for entrepreneurship

And for fun… a comparison of olympic medals to illustrate athletic prowess off the football field!


Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game (played in Columbus because it’s an even year), Ann Arbor and Columbus will continue to compete for talent, students, industry, and collegiate sports for years to come.

ICYMI – Here are links to the series on our athletic (and economic) competition!

Ann Arbor vs. Bloomington

Ann Arbor vs. Iowa City

Ann Arbor vs. College Park

Ann Arbor vs. East Lansing

Ann Arbor vs. Urbana/Champaign

Ann Arbor vs. New Brunswick

Ann Arbor vs. Madison

Ann Arbor vs. State College

Ann Arbor vs. Boulder 

Michigan vs. Florida

Michigan vs. Hawaii