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

September 20, 2023 Regional Updates

Game 4: Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Michigan vs. Rutgers | 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.?

Welcome to week four; the Big Ten opener and Michigan’s homecoming. The Wolverines are up against the Scarlet Knights from Rutgers on Saturday afternoon. Rutgers, the “birthplace of college football,” is known for establishing one of the very first American college towns. As the nation’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning — one of only nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution — Rutgers is steeped in both American and college football traditions. 

From a community perspective, New Brunswick, NJ is known as the “Healthcare City” due to the high concentration of medical facilities, research institutions, and life science companies like Johnson & Johnson. This American staple community is much smaller than Ann Arbor (less than half the size) and is within 25 minutes of Newark, and about 60 minutes from New York City. 

  • Rutgers has a slightly larger student body enrollment than that of the University of Michigan (56,771 vs 50,278, respectively). 
  • The unemployment rate in New Brunswick is slightly higher at 4.5 percent compared to 4.0 percent in Ann Arbor (July 2023).
  • In New Brunswick, only 24.6 percent of the population over the age of 25 possess a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • The median household income in New Brunswick is $49,338 compared to $73,276 in Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor is more affordable in terms of cost of living (cost of living index of 122.0 vs 99.9).

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, please reach out to our Director of Research, Melissa Sheldon.

In case you missed it, here are links to the regional comparisons we’ve posted so far this year: 

Benchmarking the Ann Arbor Region: 2023 Economic Competitive Assessment

Week 1: Ann Arbor vs. Greenville, NC

Week 2: Ann Arbor vs. Las Vegas, NV

Week 3: Ann Arbor vs. Bowling Green, OH