The time has come for you to consider a big move. Perhaps you recently graduated from college and want to live in a walkable downtown with metropolitan perks. Or maybe you’ve gained experience in a coastal tech center and now are looking for a career without the commute. Perhaps you are ready to return home — to the state and freshwater lakes you remember from your childhood.

Whatever the reason, you’re now considering a move to Ann Arbor and we think that’s a great idea.

The Ann Arbor region is a growing technology and innovation hub with an incredibly talented workforce with a steady pipeline of STEM graduates and the highest concentration of engineering talent in the nation. The region offers a rich tech-driven R&D ecosystem, a world-class university research network, and a strong business network and community support to ensure success.

University of Michigan

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading research universities and America’s top-ranked public university for R&D, the University of Michigan offers 250 programs across 19 schools and colleges, many ranked among the nation’s top programs, including engineering, business, and medicine.

The University of Michigan College of Engineering in Ann Arbor is home to more than 11,000 students and 658 faculty spanning 14 departments and divisions — with the formation of a fifteenth department specialized in robotics recently approved by the Board of Regents. The College’s annual research expenditures exceed $260M at present. Each year Michigan engineering graduates more than 2,000 bachelor’s students, 1,000 master’s students, and 300 Ph.D. students.

University Research Corridor

Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC) is an alliance between the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. The URC is familiar with leading groundbreaking research efforts and is responsible for conducting nearly all academic and federally-funded R&D in Michigan. The URC makes Michigan attractive to business and talent by training the next generation of highly skilled, in-demand workers, finding solutions through innovative research, and fostering an array of international business and academic partnerships.

Cost of Living Index

Curious about how the Ann Arbor region compares to other major tech hubs? Below is a cost of living comparison between the Ann Arbor region and 10 other major U.S. tech hubs. Ann Arbor is among the most affordable places to live when compared with other tech-focused communities throughout the nation.

National Average100%
Bloomington, IN (Monroe County)94.7%
Ann Arbor, MI (Washtenaw County)99.5%
Greenville, SC (Greenville County)102.6%
Madison, WI (Dane County)104.6%
Raleigh, NC (Wake County)104.9%
Austin, TX (Travis County)106.6%
Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County)109.8%
Minneapolis, MN (Hennepin County)114.8%
Boulder, CO (Boulder County)117.2%
Portland, OR (Multnomah County)127.1%
Berkeley, CA (Alameda County)149.0%
Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research, last updated July 2023

Benchmarking the Ann Arbor Region

Curious how Ann Arbor compares to these same tech hubs in other economic benchmarks? Check out the latest iteration of our report.