Auburn University makes $5.6 billion impact on the state, says new study

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Auburn University and its alumni make an annual $5.6 billion economic contribution to the state of Alabama, including creating nearly 27,000 jobs in addition to university employment, according to a new study.

“Auburn is a critical economic engine that benefits all Alabamians," Interim President Jay Gogue said. “We are establishing partnerships that provide students with learning experiences, while companies, organizations and communities benefit from Auburn’s renowned research and outreach.”

The study notes Auburn’s longtime support for established and emerging industries, its Extension presence across the state, research enterprise, outreach and faculty engagement as major assets for Alabama communities.

Researchers based the study on 2018-2019 statistical and financial data from Auburn’s main campus, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which has offices in all 67 counties. Economic Research Services Inc. in Montgomery and Auburn’s Division of University Outreach conducted the study.

The major components of Auburn’s $5.6 billion impact are:

  • An earning capacity of more than $3.4 billion by Auburn graduates in Alabama.

  • A direct economic impact of $2.2 billion, representing Auburn’s in-state expenditures, such as payroll and purchases, student spending on local housing and food, construction and spending by visitors to university events. Auburn’s direct impact returned to the state’s economy more than eight times its state appropriation, or an $8.50 return for each dollar appropriated.

  • Auburn provides the primary academic support for a number of major state industries, businesses and occupations through its wide range of degree programs, professional education and training.

  • Auburn supports development of innovative research and technologies, industry collaboration and entrepreneurship that promote the economy of the state as well as the economic and security interests of the nation as a whole.

  • Auburn’s impact is responsible for creating 26,623 jobs in Alabama in addition to university employment.

The $5.6 billion economic contribution marks a 4 percent increase from a 2017 study conducted by University Outreach, which has led the studies since 1996.

“This study confirms again what Alabamians already know about Auburn, that the university greatly contributes to the quality of life in Alabama,” said Royrickers Cook, vice president for University Outreach. “The university supports both emerging and traditional industries and provides services for the well-being of our citizens.”

(Written by Charles Martin)

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.