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Ann Arbor Spark

September 19, 2018

Ann Arbor vs. Lincoln – How Do We Compare?

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?

The Wolverines host the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers this week at the Big House and are probably looking for some payback. The last two times they faced off (in 2012 and 2013) the Huskers came away with a victory. However, the all-time series is tied at 4 wins each (and 1 tie in 1911, we all remember that nail-biter, right?).

Unlike some of our earlier comparisons, Lincoln is actually a lot closer to Ann Arbor in terms of population. However, it’s still about twice as big. Lincoln is a state capital, and while there is also a university in town, the largest employer is by far the State of Nebraska.

Though the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Nebraska is likely rolling prairie and corn fields and not banh-mi, Lincoln has a rich history of refugee resettlement. In the 1970s the U.S. Government designated Lincoln as a refugee-friendly city due to its stable economy, educational institutions, and size. Since then, refugees from Vietnam settled in Lincoln, and further waves came from other countries. So much so that in 2013, Lincoln was named one of the “Top Ten most Welcoming Cities in America” by Welcoming America.

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 & World Report unless otherwise mentioned.