U of M Economic Impact: $8.6B Annually

A just-released study indicates that every dollar that the state invests in the university generates $13.20 in the Minnesota economy.

The University of Minnesota's overall economic impact within the state totals $8.6 billion annually-$4.1 billion through direct expenditures and $4.5 billion in indirect spending, according to a university-commissioned study released Monday.

The study-conducted by Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Tripp Umbach, which has completed more than 100 economic impact studies over the past decade-found that every dollar that the state invests in the university generates $13.20 in the Minnesota economy.

The study comes out at a time when the University of Minnesota faces significant cuts as the Minnesota Legislature works to tackle the budget deficit.

It found that 79,497 Minnesota jobs are supported by the U of M-42,319 on the university's campus and 37,178 in communities across the state that are funded by university spending.

The study found that the university's research generates $1.5 billion in annual economic impact and supports 16,193 jobs. In 2010, U of M researchers were awarded $823 million in competitive research funding, representing a 36 percent increase over the previous year, according to the study. And over the past five years, inventions made by U of M researchers have brought nearly $390 million in revenue into the state.

“Since its earliest days, we know that the University of Minnesota has played a vital role in Minnesota's economy,” U of M President Robert Bruininks said in a statement. “Now we have concrete data to prove that point and demonstrate the significant return on investment that the university provides on the taxpayer dollars that are entrusted to us.”

More than $512.3 million in state and local tax revenue is generated by the university each year, the study found.

In addition to exploring the university's economic impact, the study also looked at the impact of its alumni: U of M alumni have collectively formed 10,000 companies in Minnesota, which together employ 500,000 people and generate $100 billion in annual revenues within the state.

The University of Minnesota is the largest university in the state with more than 50,000 students at its Twin Cities campus and more than 11,000 at its Duluth campus.