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Ann Arbor Spark

October 4, 2019

Ann Arbor vs. Iowa City – How do we compare?

Our football blog series is back for the fourth straight year! We use the football season as an incentive 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 US?

This week, the Wolverines face off with Iowa – the Hawkeyes. U-M holds a comfortable series lead of 41:4:15, but has lost 5 of the last 6 games.

The University of Iowa is perhaps best known for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a graduate-level creative writing program whose graduates earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in creative writing. It counts 17 Pulitzer Prizes, 6 U.S. Poets Laureate, and numerous National Book Awards winners among its alumni.

Iowa City is smaller than Ann Arbor but the surrounding metropolitan area reaches a similar size. Just like U-M, the university is located within the fabric of the city, and the ‘feel’ of downtown is similar to Ann Arbor.

Data Dive

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

  • Population comes from the US Census, 2017 Population Estimates. Check out Ann Arbor’s data here.
  • Enrollment comes from each university’s website (what they report on enrollment).
  • Research spend comes from the National Science Foundation Rankings by Total R&D Expenditures.
  • Educational attainment comes from the US Census 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. We look specifically at the population over the age of 25, and the highest level attained. Check out Ann Arbor’s data here.
  • The rankings come from US News and World Report unless otherwise mentioned.