Copyright 2024 SPARK

Ann Arbor vs. Columbus, OH – How Do We Compare?

November 22, 2023 Regional Updates

Game 12: Saturday, November 25, 2023 | Michigan vs. Ohio State | Michigan 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 college football season reaches its pinnacle, the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes prepare for a monumental showdown. Both teams have displayed remarkable skill and determination, remaining undefeated through the first 11 games of the 2023 season. This highly anticipated matchup, set to take place in Ann Arbor on Saturday at noon, isn’t just a regular game — it’s a battle for a coveted spot in the Big Ten championship game.

Michigan, having recently achieved their historic 1,000th win, is set to host the Buckeyes at the Big House. This matchup marks another rare instance in the history of this rivalry where both teams meet with perfect records, ensuring a battle that will be talked about for years to come.

As we look at the cities these teams represent, Ann Arbor and Columbus, their unique characteristics come to the forefront. Columbus, the larger and more economically diverse of the two, is Ohio’s state capital and home to numerous Fortune 1000 companies, including Nationwide and American Electric Power (AEP). In contrast, Ann Arbor is known for its strong educational and research environment, anchored by the University of Michigan, the region’s largest employer.

The cost of living in both Ann Arbor and Columbus is comparable, reflecting the steady economic conditions in both cities. Similarly, their unemployment rates are closely matched, underscoring the economic health and opportunities available in each location.

Ohio State University in Columbus boasts a larger student body than the University of Michigan (66,749 vs 50,278, respectively), reflecting the broader scale of the city compared to Ann Arbor’s more university-focused community.

As we gear up for Saturday’s epic clash, it’s clear that this game is more than just a contest between two football teams. It’s a celebration of the history, passion, and community spirit that epitomizes the rivalry between Ann Arbor and Columbus.

Happy Thanksgiving and GO BLUE!

This concludes our regular season comparison series. 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: 

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

Game 11: Ann Arbor vs. College Park, MD