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Ann Arbor vs. Greenville, NC – How Do We Compare?

August 31, 2023 Regional Updates

Game 1: Saturday, September 2, 2023 | Michigan vs. East Carolina | 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.?

Cooler temperatures are in the forecast and summer is quickly coming to a close as the academic year begins. In a series we look forward to each year, our team uses U-M’s football schedule as an opportunity to compare our region to other college towns represented by U-M’s competition. So, grab your pumpkin spiced latte and settle in as we kick off the football blog series for the 2023-2024 season!

The season opener takes place this weekend with the No. 2 ranked Michigan Wolverines hosting the East Carolina Pirates from Greenville, NC at the Big House for the first time. The Pirates belong to the American Athletic Conference (AAC). 

Greenville, the hub of eastern North Carolina, is known for being the place where you can always find yourself in good company. Having a population of around 90,000 residents, Greenville shares a similar scale with Ann Arbor, which has a population of about 120,000. In addition to permanent residents, each city brings tens of thousands of students to their respective regions each year. UM-Ann Arbor had more than 50,000 students enrolled in fall of 2021 while ECU had about half with around 28,000. 

Ann Arbor and Greenville both have low unemployment rates (3.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively) and both have a 66.8 percent labor force participation rate. The cost of living in Greenville is lower than in Ann Arbor (cost of living index of 93.7 vs 99.9) with the median household incomes being drastically different at $44,064 annually in Greenville and $73,276 annually in Ann Arbor. Likely a large contributor to the gap in median household income between the two regions is the difference in the percentage of the population age 25 or higher with a bachelor’s degree or beyond – nearly 80 percent of Ann Arbor’s population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher while about 40 percent of the population in Greenville have achieved the same. 

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. If you’re headed to the game, don’t forget your maize! Go Blue! Wear Maize!

Data Sources

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