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Ann Arbor Spark

November 1, 2018

Ann Arbor vs. State College – 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?

Welcome back after a restful bye week! This Saturday the Wolverines take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. While U-M holds the series lead at 13:8, they may be looking for some payback after last year’s loss to the Lions.

In terms of college towns, State College is not a common comparison to Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is close to 2.5x bigger than State College. However, both cities are evenly matched in terms of educational attainment (not surprising, given we’re both college towns). It may confuse some readers that Penn State has an address in University Park, though it is located in State College. Long story short, it’s located in both.

Enjoy the game!

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 EstimatesWe 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.