Copyright 2024 SPARK

Ann Arbor vs. Tuscaloosa, AL – How Do We Compare?

December 6, 2023 Regional Updates

Rose Bowl: Monday, January 1, 2024 | Michigan vs. Alabama | Rose Bowl Stadium | 5:00PM EST

The Michigan Wolverines are headed to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl after clinching their third consecutive Big Ten championship! With a resounding 26-0 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Wolverines are poised for an historic appearance in the 110th Rose Bowl Game. Marking their return to this prestigious event – after a 17-year hiatus – the No. 1 Wolverines face a formidable opponent in the SEC champion, Alabama, in what promises to be a white-knuckle experience for all tried and true college football fans.

As we gear up for this epic matchup, let’s delve into a comparison of the two cities these esteemed universities call home – Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Ann Arbor, MI

As the home of the University of Michigan, a leading research university globally, Ann Arbor’s economy is primarily driven by education, research and development, and the booming high-tech industry in the region. Ann Arbor is also known for its thriving technology and research and development sectors, with numerous tech startups and established companies like KLA, Sartorius, Wacker Chemical, Toyota Motor North America, Hyundai, and more.

Tuscaloosa, AL

Tuscaloosa’s economy is diverse, with a significant focus on manufacturing, education, and healthcare. The University of Alabama is a key economic driver for the region, particularly in education and sports. Tuscaloosa has a robust manufacturing sector, with major companies in the automotive industry, such as Mercedes-Benz, contributing significantly to the local economy.

The cost of living is relatively low in Tuscaloosa (91.9 compared to 99.9 in Ann Arbor) which is also reflected in the median household income ($44,880 compared to $73,276 in Ann Arbor). As of October 2023, Tuscaloosa County reported an unemployment rate of 2.2 percent, which is lower than the rate of 3.3 percent in Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor’s educational attainment bests that of Tuscaloosa by more than double with more than 77.2 percent of the population possessing a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to only 37.6 percent in Tuscaloosa.

Go Blue!

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

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