Ann Arbor, Michigan facts for kids
|Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Nickname(s): A2 ("A" Squared), A2 ("A"-two), Tree Town, The People's Republic of Ann Arbor|
|• City||28.70 sq mi (74.33 km2)|
|• Land||27.83 sq mi (72.08 km2)|
|• Water||0.87 sq mi (2.25 km2)|
|Elevation||840 ft (256 m)|
|• Estimate (2015)||117,070|
|• Density||4,093.9/sq mi (1,580.7/km2)|
|• Demonym||Ann Arborite|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||48103, 48104, 48105, 48106, 48107, 48108, 48109, 48113|
|GNIS feature ID||0620133|
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded its population to be 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The city's population was estimated at 117,070 as of July 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes all of Washtenaw County, which had a population of 344,791 as of 2010. The city is also part of the larger Detroit–Ann Arbor–Flint, MI Combined Statistical Area (CSA) with a population of 5,318,744.
Ann Arbor was founded in 1824, named for wives of the village's founders and the stands of Bur Oak trees. The University of Michigan moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837, and the city grew at a rapid rate in the early to mid-20th century. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as a center for left-wing politics. Ann Arbor became a focal point for political activism and anti-Vietnam War movement, as well as various student movements.
Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, one of the foremost research universities in the United States. The university shapes Ann Arbor's economy significantly as it employs about 30,000 workers, including about 12,000 in the medical center. The city's economy is also centered on high technology, with several companies drawn to the area by the university's research and development infrastructure, and by its graduates.
- See also: History of the University of Michigan
In about 1774, the Potawatomi founded two villages in the area of what is now Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor was founded in 1824 by land speculators John Allen and Elisha Walker Rumsey. On 25 May 1824, the town plat was registered with Wayne County as "Annarbour;" this represents the earliest known use of the town's name. Allen and Rumsey decided to name it for their wives, both named Ann, and for the stands of Bur Oak in the 640 acres (260 ha) of land they purchased for $800 from the federal government at $1.25 per acre. The local Ojibwa named the settlement kaw-goosh-kaw-nick, after the sound of Allen's sawmill.
Ann Arbor became the seat of Washtenaw County in 1827, and was incorporated as a village in 1833. The Ann Arbor Land Company, a group of speculators, set aside 40 acres (16 ha) of undeveloped land and offered it to the state of Michigan as the site of the state capital, but lost the bid to Lansing. In 1837, the property was accepted instead as the site of the University of Michigan, which moved from Detroit.
Since the university's establishment in the city in 1837, the histories of the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor have been closely linked. The town became a regional transportation hub in 1839 with the arrival of the Michigan Central Railroad, and a north—south railway connecting Ann Arbor to Toledo and other markets to the south was established in 1878. Throughout the 1840s and the 1850s settlers continued to come to Ann Arbor. While the earlier settlers were primarily of British ancestry, the newer settlers also consisted of Germans, Irish, and African-Americans. In 1851, Ann Arbor was chartered as a city, though the city showed a drop in population during the Depression of 1873. It was not until the early 1880s that Ann Arbor again saw robust growth, with new immigrants coming from Greece, Italy, Russia, and Poland. Ann Arbor saw increased growth in manufacturing, particularly in milling. Ann Arbor's Jewish community also grew after the turn of the 20th century, and its first and oldest synagogue, Beth Israel Congregation, was established in 1916.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as an important center for liberal politics. Ann Arbor also became a locus for left-wing activism and anti-Vietnam War movement, as well as the student movement. The first major meetings of the national left-wing campus group Students for a Democratic Society took place in Ann Arbor in 1960; in 1965, the city was home to the first U.S. teach-in against the Vietnam War. During the ensuing 15 years, many countercultural and New Left enterprises sprang up and developed large constituencies within the city. These influences washed into municipal politics during the early and mid-1970s when three members of the Human Rights Party (HRP) won city council seats on the strength of the student vote. During their time on the council, HRP representatives fought for measures including pioneering antidiscrimination ordinances, measures decriminalizing marijuana possession, and a rent-control ordinance; many of these remain in effect in modified form. Alongside these liberal and left-wing efforts, a small group of conservative institutions were born in Ann Arbor. These include Word of God (established in 1967), a charismatic inter-denominational movement; and the Thomas More Law Center (established in 1999), a religious-conservative advocacy group.
Following a 1956-vote, the city of East Ann Arbor merged with Ann Arbor to encompass the eastern sections of the city.
In the past several decades, Ann Arbor has grappled with the effects of sharply rising land values, gentrification, and urban sprawl stretching into outlying countryside. On 4 November 2003, voters approved a greenbelt plan under which the city government bought development rights on agricultural parcels of land adjacent to Ann Arbor to preserve them from sprawling development. And in the year 2010, Forbes listed Ann Arbor as one of the most liveable cities in the United States of America.
Geography and cityscape
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.70 square miles (74.33 km2), of which, 27.83 square miles (72.08 km2) of it is land and 0.87 square miles (2.25 km2) is water, much of which is part of the Huron River. Ann Arbor is about 35 miles (56 km) west of Detroit. Ann Arbor Charter Township adjoins the city's north and east sides. Ann Arbor is situated on the Huron River in a productive agricultural and fruit-growing region. The landscape of Ann Arbor consists of hills and valleys, with the terrain becoming steeper near the Huron River. The elevation ranges from about 750 feet (230 m) along the Huron River to 1,015 feet (309 m) on the city's west side, near the intersection of Maple Road and Pauline Blvd. Generally, the west-central and northwestern parts of the city and U-M's North Campus are the highest parts of the city; the lowest parts are along the Huron River and in the southeast. Ann Arbor Municipal Airport, which is south of the city at , has an elevation of 839 feet (256 m).
Ann Arbor's "Tree Town" nickname stems from the dense forestation of its parks and residential areas. The city contains more than 50,000 trees along its streets and an equal number in parks. In recent years, the emerald ash borer has destroyed many of the city's approximately 10,500 ash trees. The city contains 157 municipal parks ranging from small neighborhood green spots to large recreation areas. Several large city parks and a university park border sections of the Huron River. Fuller Recreation Area, near the University Hospital complex, contains sports fields, pedestrian and bike paths, and swimming pools. The Nichols Arboretum, owned by the University of Michigan, is a 123-acre (50 ha) arboretum that contains hundreds of plant and tree species. It is on the city's east side, near the university's Central Campus. Located across the Huron River just beyond the university's North Campus is the university's Matthaei Botanical Gardens, which contains 300 acres of gardens and a large tropical conservatory.
The Kerrytown Shops, Main Street Business District, the State Street Business District, and the South University Business District are commercial areas in downtown Ann Arbor. Three commercial areas south of downtown include the areas near I-94 and Ann Arbor-Saline Road, Briarwood Mall, and the South Industrial area. Other commercial areas include the Arborland/Washtenaw Avenue and Packard Road merchants on the east side, the Plymouth Road area in the northeast, and the Westgate/West Stadium areas on the west side. Downtown contains a mix of 19th- and early-20th-century structures and modern-style buildings, as well as a farmers' market in the Kerrytown district. The city's commercial districts are composed mostly of two- to four-story structures, although downtown and the area near Briarwood Mall contain a small number of high-rise buildings.
Ann Arbor's residential neighborhoods contain architectural styles ranging from classic 19th-century and early-20th-century designs to ranch-style houses. Among these homes are a number of kit houses built in the early 20th century. Contemporary-style houses are farther from the downtown district. Surrounding the University of Michigan campus are houses and apartment complexes occupied primarily by student renters. Tower Plaza, a 26-story condominium building located between the University of Michigan campus and downtown, is the tallest building in Ann Arbor. The 19th-century buildings and streetscape of the Old West Side neighborhood have been preserved virtually intact; in 1972, the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is further protected by city ordinances and a nonprofit preservation group.
|Weather chart for Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
Ann Arbor has a typically Midwestern humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), which is influenced by the Great Lakes. There are four distinct seasons: winters are the coldest time of year, with average highs around 34 °F (1 °C); however, summers have average highs around 81 °F (27 °C) with slightly more precipitation. Spring and autumn are transitional between the two. The area experiences lake effect weather, primarily in the form of increased cloudiness during late fall and early winter. The monthly daily average temperature in July is 72.6 °F (22.6 °C), while the same figure for January is 24.5 °F (−4.2 °C). Temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on 10 days, and drop to or below 0 °F (−18 °C) on 4.6 nights. Precipitation tends to be the heaviest during the summer months, but most frequent during winter. Snowfall, which normally occurs from November to April but occasionally starts in October, averages 58 inches (147 cm) per season. The lowest recorded temperature was −23 °F (−31 °C) on 11 February 1885 and the highest recorded temperature was 105 °F (41 °C) on 24 July 1934.
|Climate data for Ann Arbor, Michigan (UMich, 1981–2010)|
|Record high °F (°C)||72
|Average high °F (°C)||31.2
|Daily mean °F (°C)||24.7
|Average low °F (°C)||17.9
|Record low °F (°C)||−22
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.59
|Snowfall inches (cm)||16.8
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||17.1||13.8||14.1||13.4||13.6||11.9||11.4||11.1||10.7||12.4||13.8||16.8||160.1|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||14.7||11.4||7.6||2.5||0||0||0||0||0||0.5||4.5||12.1||53.2|
|Sources: Michigan State Census (before 1860)
United States Census (1900–2000)
U.S. Census Bureau
|Black or African American||7.7%||9.0%||6.7%||4.1%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||4.1%||2.6%||1.3%||-|
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 113,394 people, 45,634 households, and 21,704 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,270.33 people per square mile (2653.47/km²). There were 49,982 housing units at an average density of 1,748.0 per square mile (675.0/km²), making it less densely populated than inner-ring Detroit suburbs like Oak Park and Ferndale (and than Detroit proper), but more densely populated than outer-ring suburbs like Livonia or Troy. The racial makeup of the city was 73.0% White (70.4% non-Hispanic White), 7.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 14.4% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 4.1% of the population.
In 2013, Ann Arbor had the second-largest community of Japanese citizens in the state of Michigan, numbering 1,541; this figure trailed only that of Novi, which had 2,666 Japanese nationals. In addition, as of 2005, Ann Arbor has a small population of Arab Americans, including several students as well as local Lebanese and Palestinians.
In 2000, out of 45,693 households, 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.5% were nonfamilies. 35.5% of households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.90. The age distribution was 16.8% under 18, 26.8% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% were 65 or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males; while for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,299, and the median income for a family was $71,293 (these figures had risen to $51,232 and $82,293 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $48,880 versus $36,561 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,419. About 4.6% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Several performing arts groups and facilities are on the University of Michigan's campus, as are museums dedicated to art, archaeology, and natural history and sciences. Founded in 1879, the University Musical Society is an independent performing arts organization that presents over 60 events each year, bringing international artists in music, dance, and theater. Since 2001 Shakespeare in the Arb has presented one play by Shakespeare each June, in a large park near downtown. Regional and local performing arts groups not associated with the university include the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, the Arbor Opera Theater, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the Ann Arbor Ballet Theater, the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet (established in 1954 as Michigan's first chartered ballet company), The Ark, and Performance Network Theatre. Another unique piece of artistic expression in Ann Arbor is the fairy doors. These small portals are examples of installation art and can be found throughout the downtown area.
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is located in a renovated and expanded historic downtown fire station. Multiple art galleries exist in the city, notably in the downtown area and around the University of Michigan campus. Aside from a large restaurant scene in the Main Street, South State Street, and South University Avenue areas, Ann Arbor ranks first among U.S. cities in the number of booksellers and books sold per capita. The Ann Arbor District Library maintains four branch outlets in addition to its main downtown building. The city is also home to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
Several annual events—many of them centered on performing and visual arts—draw visitors to Ann Arbor. One such event is the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, a set of four concurrent juried fairs held on downtown streets. Scheduled on Thursday through Sunday of the third week of July, the fairs draw upward of half a million visitors. Another is the Ann Arbor Film Festival, held during the third week of March, which receives more than 2,500 submissions annually from more than 40 countries and serves as one of a handful of Academy Award–qualifying festivals in the United States.
Ann Arbor has a long history of openness to marijuana, given Ann Arbor's decriminalization of cannabis, the large number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city (one dispensary, called People's Co-op, was directly across the street from Michigan Stadium until zoning forced it to move one mile to the west), the large number of pro-marijuana residents, and the annual Hash Bash: an event that is held on the first Saturday of April. Until (at least) the successful passage of Michigan's medical marijuana law, the event had arguably strayed from its initial intent, although for years, a number of attendees have received serious legal responses due to marijuana use on University of Michigan property, which does not fall under the city's progressive and compassionate ticketing program.
Ann Arbor is a major scene of college sports, most notably at the University of Michigan, a member of the Big Ten Conference. Several well-known college sports facilities exist in the city, including Michigan Stadium, the largest American football stadium in the world. The stadium was completed in 1927 and cost more than $950,000 to build. It has a 107,601 seating capacity after multiple renovations were made. The stadium is colloquially known as "The Big House". Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena play host to the school's basketball (both men's and women's) and ice hockey teams, respectively. Concordia University, a member of the NAIA, also fields sports teams.
Ann Arbor is represented in the NPSL by semi-pro soccer team AFC Ann Arbor, a club founded in 2014 who call themselves The Mighty Oak.
A person from Ann Arbor is called an "Ann Arborite", and many long-time residents call themselves "townies". The city itself is often called "A²" ("A-squared") or "A2" ("A two") or "AA", "The Deuce" (mainly by Chicagoans), and "Tree Town". With tongue-in-cheek reference to the city's liberal political leanings, some occasionally refer to Ann Arbor as "The People's Republic of Ann Arbor" or "25 square miles surrounded by reality", the latter phrase being adapted from Wisconsin Governor Lee Dreyfus's description of Madison, Wisconsin. In A Prairie Home Companion broadcast from Ann Arbor, Garrison Keillor described Ann Arbor as "a city where people discuss socialism, but only in the fanciest restaurants." Ann Arbor sometimes appears on citation indexes as an author, instead of a location, often with the academic degree MI, a misunderstanding of the abbreviation for Michigan. Ann Arbor has become increasingly gentrified in recent years.
Surface roads and paths
The streets in downtown Ann Arbor conform to a grid pattern, though this pattern is less common in the surrounding areas. Major roads branch out from the downtown district like spokes on a wheel to the highways surrounding the city. The city is belted by three freeways: I-94, which runs along the southern and western portion of the city; U.S. Highway 23 (US 23), which primarily runs along the eastern edge of Ann Arbor; and M-14, which runs along the northern edge of the city. Other nearby highways include US 12 (Washtenaw Ave.), M-17 (Michigan Ave.), and M-153 (Ford Rd.). Several of the major surface arteries lead to the I-94/M-14 interchange in the west, US 23 in the east, and the city's southern areas. The city also has a system of bike routes and paths and includes the nearly complete Washtenaw County Border-to-Border Trail.
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA), which brands itself as "The Ride", operates public bus services throughout the city and nearby Ypsilanti. A separate zero-fare bus service operates within and between the University of Michigan campuses. Since April 2012, route 787 (the "AirRide") connects to Detroit Metro Airport a dozen times a day. There are also limited-stop bus services between Ann Arbor and Chelsea as well as Canton. These two routes, 710 and 711 respectively, are known as the "ExpressRide".
Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service. The Michigan Flyer, a service operated by Indian Trails, cooperates with AAATA for their AirRide and additionally offers bus service to East Lansing. Megabus has direct service to Chicago, Illinois, while a bus service is provided by Amtrak for rail passengers making connections to services in East Lansing and Toledo, Ohio.
Ann Arbor Municipal Airport is a small, city-run general aviation airport located south of I-94. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the area's large international airport, is about 25 miles (40 km) east of the city, in Romulus. Willow Run Airport east of the city near Ypsilanti serves freight, corporate, and general aviation clients.
The city was a major rail hub, notably for freight traffic between Toledo and ports north of Chicago, Illinois, from 1878 to 1982; however, the Ann Arbor Railroad also provided passenger service from 1878 to 1950. The city was served by the Michigan Central Railroad starting in 1837. The Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Street Railway, Michigan's first interurban, served the city from 1891 to 1929.
Amtrak, which provides service to the city at the Ann Arbor Train Station, operates the Wolverine train between Chicago and Pontiac, via Detroit. The present-day train station neighbors the city's old Michigan Central Depot, which was renovated as a restaurant in 1970.
Ann Arbor has seven sister cities:
- Tübingen, Germany (since 1965)
- Belize City, Belize (since 1967)
- Hikone, Shiga, Japan (since 1969)
- The schools in Ann Arbor and Hikone have regular exchanges.
- Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (since 1983)
- Juigalpa, Chontales, Nicaragua (since 1986)
- Dakar, Senegal (since 1997)
- Remedios, Cuba (since 2003)
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