Simply utter the name "Ann Arbor," and you're sure to invoke feelings of nostalgia in one of the University of Michigan's more than 500,000 living alumni. Although this college town is best known as the home of the Michigan Wolverines, Ann Arbor is a cultural mecca with a sophistication that will surprise you. The stately, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere attracts creative chefs, business and medical professionals, and world-renowned thinkers who relocate here and enjoy their adult years in a lively environment.
Ann Arbor was ranked No. 99 on CNN/Money Magazine's 2012 list of America's Best Small Cities, hailed for its wealth of job opportunities and cultural experiences. According to the University of Michigan's International Center, average one-bedroom apartments in Ann Arbor cost between $750 and $1000, which is very reasonable for a town of its size and adds to Ann Arbor's overall affordability. The city received a cost of living index of 102, which is very consistent with the national average. Because of the high need for rentals, the city is chock full of multi-bedroom Ann Arbor apartments, complexes, loft spaces and other rental options that can meet the needs of students and families alike.
Since its creation in the early 1800s, Ann Arbor has been synonymous with the University of Michigan. Over the years, this liberal-minded town and its progressive faculty and staff have been at the forefront of countless movements ranging from civil rights to student activism and anti-war initiatives. Today, Ann Arbor is home to approximately 115,000 permanent residents and upwards of 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students living in Ann Arbor apartments and homes.
If you're concerned about constantly being surrounded by noisy students, don't be: The student apartments in Ann Arbor are separate from the family communities. The majority of the student population congregates in student-oriented residences within walking distance from central campus, while the older crowd opts for the areas surrounding Kerrytown, Main Street and quieter locations on the north and west sides of town.
Those living in apartments in Ann Arbor will find that the academia-fueled environment has attracted many big businesses. The University of Michigan and its Health System are still the two largest employers in town, but in recent years, Google, General Dynamics, Domino's Pizza, Arbor Networks, Lotus Engineering, Thomas Reuters, and others have come onto the scene to offer a more diverse range of employment opportunities for local residents.