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The Pennsylvania State University Economic Impact Statement

Penn State: Giving Back

"Penn State is an economic powerhouse in the Commonwealth, directly or indirectly affecting every resident of the state. It generates more than $17 billion annually in overall economic impact."

–Tripp Umbach & Associates, 2008 Economic Impact Statement

Penn State is an economic engine, generating more than $17 billion in impact

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Penn State contributes more to the state's economy annually than any other industry. In 2008, the University generated $8.5 billion in direct and indirect economic impact and an additional $8.7 billion through business services, research commercialization, and the activities of alumni, for a total of more than $17 billion.

  • —For every dollar invested in 2008 by the Commonwealth to support the operations of Penn State, the University returned $25.06 in total economic impact to Pennsylvania.
  • —Penn State generated $647 million in tax revenue for the Commonwealth in 2008. In other words, the University returned $1.91 in tax revenue for every $1 it received in appropriation.
Running on Penn State power

In 2008, Penn State commissioned an independent study by the Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach & Associates to gauge the value of the University to the Commonwealth. Key findings in the 2008 Tripp Umbach report include the following:

  • —Penn State generated more than 2 percent of the state's business volume or more than $1 out of every $50 in the state's total economy.
  • — The University annually expends more than $700 million through its research activities. Research at Penn State supports more than 18,000 additional jobs in Pennsylvania, which generates more than $1.9 billion in additional economic impact and more than $61 million in additional revenue for the Commonwealth annually. The
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  • — The University is the largest creator of total employment among nongovernmental entities. Penn State has 44,000 employees, nearly 30,000 of them full-time. The total payroll from Penn State annually generates $805 million in direct impact through faculty, staff, and technical service employees' spending.
  • — The University currently generates more annual economic impact than the combined total impact of all of the state‚Äôs airport hubs, professional sports teams, and arts and cultural organizations, by attracting nearly 1 million visitors and generating $1.73 billion annually.
  • —Student spending amounts to $932 million in the state's economy.
  • —In 2008, out-of-state visitors to Penn State generated nearly $777 million in the Pennsylvania economy.
  • —The more than 250,000 alumni who live in Pennsylvania generate $1.9 billion annually in additional economic impact, and produce $59 million in additional government revenue for the state.
  • —More than 17,000 Penn State alumni own businesses in Pennsylvania, which directly employ more than 475,000 residents. The average wage of employees at companies owned by Penn State graduates is $9,800 higher than the average wage earner in Pennsylvania. This translates into more than $4.1 billion in additional expansion of the state's economy and more than $125 million in additional government revenue for the Commonwealth annually.
  • —Penn State employees donate more than $130 million annually in charitable donations and volunteer services within the Commonwealth.
  • —The total direct and indirect economic impact of Penn State is projected to grow over the next five years, from $8.5 billion to $9.5 billion in 2013.

For more information about Penn State, visit  About Penn State