UGA’s Growing Economic Impact
February 11, 2020
by Jere W. Morehead, President
The University’s annual economic impact on Georgia has risen to a record $6.5 billion, an achievement that should make the entire UGA community proud. Momentum across every aspect of our teaching, research, and service missions is driving this impressive figure.
On average, each dollar of state funding for instruction at UGA generates $12.50 in economic impact, thanks to the increased earnings of our graduates and the tax revenue they bring to their communities. With more than 9,700 students graduating from UGA each year—nearly two thirds of whom stay in Georgia—the impact of UGA’s teaching mission is profound. And it continues to grow as more students pursue degrees in high-demand, high-paying fields such as engineering, computer science, and business.
The impact of our research mission includes economic activity generated by external funding for research as well as business activity generated by startup companies based on UGA research. More than 175 companies have been formed to date, with the number increasing by 150% since 2015. Last year, UGA ranked first in the nation for translating discoveries into marketable products, and we are consistently ranked in the top 10 for licensing revenues. In addition, every dollar in external funding for research generates $2 in economic impact as those funds are spent on equipment and the salaries of research personnel.
The impact of the University’s service mission includes public and private sector gains enabled by the Small Business Development Center, UGA Extension, and many other outreach units. The Small Business Development Center helped to launch 415 new businesses and generate 3,000 new jobs in FY 2019 alone. Meanwhile, UGA Extension agents helped Georgia farmers across the state by bringing their research and expertise to bear on all sectors of the agriculture industry, from poultry to pecans.
The University of Georgia is more vital to the state’s success than ever. As Georgia’s flagship, land- and sea-grant university, UGA is—and will forever be—committed to fostering prosperity and economic opportunity in our state.