New Study: UF contributes more than $16 billion to the state's economy

The University of Florida and related entities contributed $16.91 billion to the state’s economy in fiscal year 2017-2018, according to a newly released study on UF’s economic contributions.

These activities contributed $10.4 billion, or 1.1%, to the Gross State Product of Florida and supported 134,609 full- and part-time jobs, which amounts to 1.1% of the workforce in the state.

 “That 1.1% of the workforce in Florida is supported by activities related to just one university,” said Christa Court, an assistant professor in food and resource economics and the director of the economic impact analysis program in UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. To put these numbers into context, UF’s total employment and gross state product contributions are roughly equivalent to the direct activity of all hotels and motels in the state.

In Alachua County alone, the university and related entities supported 93,764 full- and part-time jobs, which was 54% of the county’s workforce. These jobs include staff and faculty employed directly by UF and also people who work in businesses like nearby restaurants and service providers that interact with UF and its employees.

Technology developed and patented by UF researchers brought in an estimated annual sales revenue of $1.34 billion for companies around the state. This technology spans from surgical appliances and supplies to botanical manufacturing.

The university spent $50.1 million on new construction or maintenance and repair of existing educational structures in 2017-2018.

Students spent $1.12 billion on things like tuition, room and board, and other living expenses in 2017-2018. People aren’t spending money at UF just for school, though. Visitors spent $472.6 million on athletic, academic and cultural events and healthcare services in Alachua County.

Researchers at UF brought in $751 million in 2017-2018. UF’s College of Medicine and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences alone account for $419 million — more than half of this funding.

“We’re proud of UF’s role in helping to support Florida’s economy and workforce,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “We view our economic contribution as a return on investment for the state, which has been incredibly supportive of UF’s increasing excellence, as well as that of private donors. As UF continues to rise, we believe it will play an even more important role in Florida’s prosperity in coming years.”

Emily Cardinali October 28, 2019