TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s economic impact on the state approached $2.8 billion during the 2019-2020 academic year, meaning each dollar in state appropriations for UA translated to more than $15 returned to the economy, according to an economic analysis.
The latest UA economic impact report conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the UA Culverhouse College of Business also projects the graduates of the 2019-2020 class will pay over $1 billion in additional state income and sales taxes than they would have without a degree from the University. Alabama will realize a nearly 12% annual rate of return on its investment in those graduates, according to the report.
In the three-county Tuscaloosa metro area, UA’s economic impact was more than $2 billion, generating over 12,800 jobs and $42.7 million in local sales taxes. Each of the seven home games in fall 2019 had an average economic impact of $19.8 million on the Tuscaloosa area.
“The University of Alabama continues to be an economic engine for our state and surrounding communities that returns more than it receives,” said President Stuart R. Bell. “More than dollars and cents, the University is a catalyst for innovation and success statewide through our outstanding graduates and the contributions of our faculty and staff in improving quality of life through service and research.”
The economic analysis showed UA’s economic and fiscal impact is $2.77 billion, accounting for 13,606 jobs and $137.1 million in income and sales tax. Statewide, UA’s Crimson Tide home football games in 2019 left a $185.9 million impact.
“UA is essential to the economic development of the metro area, state, nation and even the world, and with unquantifiable benefits not included in the report, it’s safe to say the economic impact greatly exceeds those presented in the study,” said Dr. Samuel Addy, associate dean for economic development outreach in Culverhouse and a senior research economist for CBER.
The mission of The University of Alabama is to advance the intellectual and social condition of the people of Alabama through quality programs of teaching, research and service. UA’s significant contributions to economic, academic, and community development are a direct result of the work performed by students, faculty and staff.
The economic analysis covers a period of disruption from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in less direct spending by the University and a slight drop in economic impact, however, UA avoided furloughs and cuts while seeing enrollment steadily increase.
In 2019-20, UA employed 7,158 people as well as a few thousand student workers. UA directly spent $1.58 billion, which includes payroll, purchases and money students spend off campus.