Ann Arbor Named America’s Top Swim City For Second Consecutive Year

Ann Arbor, MI has officially been named the best swim city in American for second year in a row by USA Swimming.

Each city’s ranking is based on an aggregate score in categories including percentage of active swimmers and swim clubs, number of accessible pools and volume of top-level swimmers from the area. Cities in the top 50 had a population of 250,000 or higher.

Ann Arbor was chosen because of the high number of facilities that allow the residents of the city to swim. On top of that, the area has produced a large number of Olympians, and is centered around the University of Michigan.

“People love swimming in Ann Arbor and the community rallies around the sport. This honor is also a testament to the University of Michigan swim program and how it has inspired the entire city of Ann Arbor to get in the water,” said Tyler Clary. “The combination of Club Wolverine, the University, city residents and Club Wolverine Swim Camp as one of the most successful swim camps in the country, is evidence of why the Ann Arbor swim community is so great.”

Other notable facts about the cities ranked 2-10 from USA Swimming include:

  • San Jose-Santa Clara: A major contender for the top swim city, San Jose-Santa Clara boasts the largest multicultural make-up of swimmers of any region in the country. The Santa Clara Swim Club has produced 51 Olympic gold medals, 17 silver, and 12 bronze during its proud history. Swimming legends Mark Spitz and Donna de Varona grew up in the area.
  • San Francisco-Oakland: Home to 10 percent of the country’s U.S. Masters Swimmers, more than any other city across the country, including Olympic Gold Medalists Natalie Coughlin and Nathan Adrian, among many others.
  • Durham: One in 10 Durham residents report they swim for fitness, making swimming one of the most popular fitness activities in the community.
  • Austin: The city has the eighth highest number of top USA Swimming athletes in the country, despite ranking 40th in population size. A number of Olympic champions, including Brendan Hansen, call Austin home. Nitro Swimming is the seven-time Texas Age Group Champion.
  • Madison: With 24 pools in the area, Madison has double the amount of swimming facilities among other cities of its size.
  • Raleigh-Cary: A large number of U.S. Masters swimmers, USA Swimming members, fitness swimmers and top USA Swimmers live in the area. Raleigh is also home to N.C. State, where Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones attended college.
  • Fort Collins: One of four Colorado cities represented in the top 16 Swim Cities this year, ranking above Boulder, Colorado Springs and Denver. The city has a large number of USA Swimming members, clubs and top-performing swimmers relative to its population.
  • Washington, D.C.: Washington, D.C. is a strong addition to the top 10 with 15,000 USA Swimming members, the fourth highest number in the country. There are 122 swim facilities inside the Beltway, sixth-best, and one of the most robust summer league programs nationwide. Nation’s Capital Swim Club topped the USA Swimming Club Excellence program in 2015.
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk: The area hosts 24 swim clubs, the most of any area with a population below 1 million people.
Rank  Metropolitan Area Total Weighted Index Population Age 6+
 2.  Ann Arbor, Michigan  1,696  348,971
 3.  San Jose, CA  1,378  1,761,295
 4.  San Francisco, CA  1,330  4,160,269
 5.  Durham, NC  1,268  467,394
 6.  Austin, TX  1,252  1,521,851
 7.  Madison, WI  1,192  550,312
 8.  Raleigh, NC  1,157  1,009,431
 9.  Fort Collins, CO  1,096  280,068
 10.  Washington, DC  1,079  5,377,932
 10.  Bridgeport, CT  1,067  909,970
 11.  Boulder, CO  1,059  284,607
 12.  Tallahassee, FL  992  338,800
 13.  Los Angeles, CA  991  13,133,921
 14.  Santa Barbara, CA  959  401,253
 15.  Colorado Springs, CO  943  607,312
 16.  Denver, CO  928  2,429,088
 17.  San Luis Obispo, CA  894  258,624
 18.  Indianapolis, IN  893  1,682,815
 19.  Anchorage, AK  853  363,582
 20.  Tucson, AZ  851  955,724
 21.  Seattle, WA  850  3,270,270
 22.  Reno, NV  841  415,540
 23.  Santa Rosa, CA  812  468,963
 24.  Lexington, KY  810  435,465
 25.  Trenton, NJ  801  372,123
 26.  Atlanta, GA  799  5,186,819
 27.  Columbus, OH  796  1,742,026
 28.  Chicago, IL  796  9,573,949
 29.  Houston, TX  795  5,504,735
 30.  Lincoln, NE  793  286,831
 31.  Charlotte, NC  779  1,598,273
 32.  South Bend, IN  775  318,850
 33.  Pittsburgh, PA  775  2,369,879
 34.  Sacramento, CA  773  2,136,139
 35.  Minneapolis, MN  773  3,211,584
 36.  Baltimore, MD  768  2,695,688
 37.  Vallejo, CA  719  417,427
 38.  Nashville, TN  718  1,465,687
 39.  Richmond, VA  716  1,202,109
 40.  Boston, MA  710  4,417,045
 41.  Holland, MI  706  261,834
 42.  Cincinnati, OH  702  2,094,746
 43.  Kansas City, MO  697  1,989,400
 44.  Oxnard, CA  689  812,013
 45.  Philadelphia, PA  689  5,876,616
 46.  Jacksonville, FL  686  1,295,869
 47.  Davenport, IA  681  376,817
 48.  Knoxville, TN  681  671,224
 49.  Honolulu, HI  677  917,952
 50.  Omaha, NE  664  828,741

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Joel Lin

Also home of the coolest plaid sport coat in swimming. Ann Arbor is cool because Mike Bottom is the coolest cat in the business.

herp derpson

thats a go blue

Gina Rhinestone

Honolulu 49th . Sure I want to go to Ann Arbor most for a swim & the other 48 before that horrid hot place .

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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