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Ann Arbor vs. Kalamazoo – How Do We Compare?

September 5, 2018 Regional Updates
Western Michigan University and UofM comparison

Our football blog series is back for the third straight year! As before, we’ll use the football season as an impetus to compare Ann Arbor to cities and towns on this year’s schedule. And the question is always – how does Ann Arbor compare to other college towns in the US?

Happy first week of classes! The feeling in and around campus is electric, and everyone is excited for the first home game of the season.

This week, the Wolverines will host the Western Michigan University Broncos, hailing from Kalamazoo, MI. UofM holds the series lead at 6-0 but the early-season game will be a test nonetheless as the Broncos have realized increased success in the last few years.

So, how different are Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo? While both cities fall in the mid-size category, Ann Arbor is quite a bit bigger with 121,000 occupants, compared to Kalamazoo’s 76,000. Kalamazoo, once known for its impressive celery crop, is now home to two top-notch universities – WMU and Kalamazoo College.

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. It can be a bit confusing – 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.