In this 2022 URC Economic Impact Report, Anderson Economic Group reports that the presence of The University Research Corridor – an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University – contributes an annual economic impact in Michigan of $20.6 billion, an impact that reaches every single Michigan county. The universities educate Michigan residents, attract talented workers to the state, support innovation and encourage the transfer of new technology to the private sector.

  • The URC leads the nation’s top university innovation clusters in preparing the greatest number of graduates for careers in the mobility industry – 14,824 total, more than university clusters in California, Texas and Massachusetts.
  • It also prepares more than 46 percent of Michigan graduates who hold degrees that are in high demand by the mobility and other industries, such as business, computer science and engineering – nearly 13,000 degrees.
  • In addition, the three URC universities grant nearly 12,000 degrees annually in high-tech areas such as biomedicine and bioscience, as well as nearly 2,500 medical degrees each year.


Investing in the URC universities is a sure bet even when times are tough. In the last 15 years – a time that has seen a major recession and a global pandemic – the URC’s economic contribution to the state has grown by 60%.

  • The state saw a 22x return on its investment ($931 million) from Michigan’s only three research intensive universities – Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. This means that for every dollar that the state has invested in URC institutions, the URC has contributed $22 back into the state economy.
  • For additional context – if one were to break down the URC’s $20.6 billion in net economic impact by the 3,980,408 households in Michigan, that would equate to $5,175 per household. This is the scale of impact our universities are making in Michigan, even during a pandemic. Of course, each household doesn’t receive the impact in this way, but each person does share in the impact of our universities through the jobs and opportunities created from university research, education and innovation.


The three URC universities enroll 139,624 undergraduate and graduate students, or 51% of the total full-time enrollment across the 15 public universities. Together, the URC universities have grown their student bodies as university enrollment has declined statewide.

  • URC students contribute $2.1 billion to the state economy, money spent on and off campus.
  • In addition to the $20.6 billion in net new economic impact, the URC’s activities created more than 80,0000 jobs spread across all 83 counties.
  • And this impact does not include the scores of university startup companies and companies started by URC alumni entrepreneurs that create jobs across the state.


Half of the 1.5 million living alumni from the three URC universities (about 712,000 people) live in Michiganacross all 83 counties, strengthening our economy and communities. The estimated total URC alumni earnings in Michigan were $48.3 billion in FY 2021. This accounts for 20% of all wage and salary income in the state.

  • URC alumni are a huge, productive part of the state’s workforce accounting for nearly $1 out of every $5 in earnings and income statewide — $48.3 billion in FY 2021.
  • URC alumni founded new businesses at nearly twice the national rate, contributing to the state’s economic growth and dynamism in all walks of life, long after they leave campus.
  • In addition, URC students, employees and alumni paid $650 million in state taxes.