Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a cosmopolitan college town of 115,000 people and is also the county seat of Washtenaw County. The city, known to locals as A2 (pronounced "A squared") is located on the Huron River, 36 miles west of Detroit.
The community was founded in 1824 and quickly began growing when the University of Michigan relocated there from Detroit in 1837. From that day on, the university has shaped Ann Arbor's population, economy, and culture. The university attracts visiting professors, artists, writers, celebrities, and thousands of students from around the world to Ann Arbor. However, the city's cultural opportunities, low crime rate, and clean environment come with a price, as the city's cost of living is slightly higher than the national average.
The University of Michigan is a major research university that with 26,000 undergraduate and 15,000 graduate students. Students come from all 50 states and 120 countries, but the majority of undergraduates (66 percent) are from Michigan. The university offers 200 degree programs and 900 student organizations and has more than 400,000 living alumni, more than any other university in the world.
The school has an overwhelming impact on the economy of Ann Arbor. The university employs one out of every three adults in the city. Additionally, it brings the city a large amount of prestige, as it is often ranked as one of the top universities in the country.
Besides education, major industries in Ann Arbor include automotive, biomedical research, health care, information technology, and manufacturing. The Ann Arbor region has been designated a Michigan SmartZone, a high-technology hub with the potential to create future jobs. It is also the headquarters of Borders, a Fortune 500 company that began as a campus bookstore owned by two University of Michigan graduates.
Other major private employers in Ann Arbor are:
Ann Arbor's downtown is a thriving neighborhood of restaurants, shopping, live music, libraries, art galleries, and museums. It is just a short walk from the University of Michigan campus and has four distinct areas:
Like most other things in Ann Arbor, local sports revolve around the University of Michigan. The school plays in the Big Ten and fields 25 intercollegiate teams. The Michigan Wolverines have won 52 national championships in 12 sports, dating back to 1901. The ice hockey team has won 9 national championships, the football team has won 11 national championships, and the men's swimming and diving team has won 18 national championships.
Michigan Stadium has an impressive seating capacity of 106,501. It could almost seat every man, woman, and child who lives in the city of Ann Arbor. When the stadium was constructed in 1927, it cost nearly $1 million to build. Currently, the stadium is undergoing a $226 million renovation that includes wider seats and aisles, additional concessions and restrooms, and more luxury boxes and club level seats. When the renovation is complete, seating capacity will be increased to more than 108,000, making it America's largest football stadium.
Ann Arbor is a cultural paradise. The city is filled with dozens of unique galleries, museums, theaters, and art institutions. Visitors can listen to a concert, take in a ballet or opera performance, or stop by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, among dozens of other options.
The city is home to several notable performance halls:
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