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Ann Arbor vs. Seattle, WA – How Do We Compare?

January 4, 2024 Regional Updates

National Championship: Monday, January 8, 2024 | Michigan vs. Washington | NRG Stadium, Houston, TX | 7:30PM 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.?

Wow, what a season! With more than 1,000 wins, Michigan became the winningest team in college football history this year! Up next, the Michigan Wolverines are all set to clash with the Washington Huskies on January 8th in Houston, in what promises to be a thrilling championship game. But there is more at stake here than just the national title. This game is a sneak peek into the future of college football, as it foreshadows an upcoming conference rivalry. With the Washington Huskies poised to join the Big Ten in the 2024-25 season, this matchup is a tantalizing preview of the battles that lie ahead. Get ready for a game that is not just about the present glory, but also about setting the tone for future rivalries in the world of college football.

As we brace ourselves for this epic showdown, we could not help but compare the two regions these college football titans call home – Ann Arbor, MI and Seattle, WA.

Ann Arbor, MI

The Wolverines hail from Ann Arbor, where the economy is primarily driven by education (thanks in large part to the University of Michigan), research and development, and the booming tech industry in the region. Numerous tech startups originate from Ann Arbor and industry leaders like KLA, Sartorius, Wacker Chemical, Toyota Motor North America, Hyundai, and others help round out the diverse economy.

Seattle, WA

The Washington Huskies hail from Seattle, a dynamic and economically diverse city in the Pacific Northwest. Anchored by tech heavyweights like Amazon and Microsoft, the city is a hub of tech innovation fueling its economy, similar to Ann Arbor. Seattle’s economic landscape is diversified by significant contributions from the aerospace sector, led by Boeing, and a strong presence in biotechnology and healthcare.

Seattle is more than six times larger than Ann Arbor in terms of population size while enrollment and completions at the two universities are comparable in size. The cost of living is higher in Seattle (134.8 compared to 99.9 in Ann Arbor) which is also reflected in their higher median household income ($116,068 compared to $73,276 in Ann Arbor). As of October 2023, King County (Seattle) reported an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, which is higher than the rate of 3.3 percent in Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor). Ann Arbor’s educational attainment is slightly higher with 77.2 percent of the population possessing a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 66.7 percent in Seattle.

GO BLUE! And, in case you need it, here is a link to Michigan’s Fight Song so you can be prepared to sing it loud and proud during the championship game!

This is the final blog post for this season! Be on the lookout for our blog posts ahead of each game later this fall 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

Game 1: Ann Arbor vs. Greenville, NC

Game 2: Ann Arbor vs. Las Vegas, NV

Game 3: Ann Arbor vs. Bowling Green, OH

Game 4: Ann Arbor vs. New Brunswick, NJ

Game 5: Ann Arbor vs. Lincoln, NE

Game 6: Ann Arbor vs. Minneapolis, MN

Game 7: Ann Arbor vs. Bloomington, IN

Game 8: Ann Arbor vs. East Lansing, MI

Game 9: Ann Arbor vs. West Lafayette, IN

Game 10: Ann Arbor vs. State College, PA

Game 11: Ann Arbor vs. College Park, MD

Game 12: Ann Arbor vs. Columbus, OH

Big Ten Championship: Ann Arbor vs. Iowa City, IA

Rose Bowl Game: Ann Arbor vs. Tuscaloosa, AL