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Ann Arbor vs. New Brunswick – How Do We Compare?

November 7, 2018 Regional Updates
Rutgers 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?

Arguably, New Brunswick, NJ, was one of the first ever American college towns. Rutgers is the nation’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning—one of only nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution. As American universities go, that’s old. The New Brunswick Campus is the oldest and largest campus of Rutgers; it is the site of the original Rutgers College. It is spread across six municipalities in Middlesex County, New Jersey, chiefly in the City of New Brunswick and adjacent Piscataway. It is composed of five smaller campuses and a few buildings in downtown New Brunswick. Rutgers University is referred to as The Birthplace of College Football as the first intercollegiate football game was held between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1869.

Now to set the context before we present the infographic:

  • New Brunswick is a lot smaller than Ann Arbor (about half as big), though Rutgers has a larger student body enrollment.
  • Though not a large city itself, New Brunswick is within 25 minutes of Newark, and about 45 minutes of New York.
  • New Brunswick is just one town in the midst of others of similar population, unlike Ann Arbor, where the population is more concentrated.



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.