12 Economic Impact Report (May 2021)

Empowering Michigan

URC Universities – MSU, U-M and WSU – Contribute $19.3 Billion to Michigan’s Economy

Michigan’s three research universities demonstrate impact in every county in the state

(LANSING, Mich. – May 14, 2021) – The URC universities make a significant contribution to Michigan’s economy while educating students, undertaking research, and serving their communities. In FY 2019, URC universities generated $19.3 billion in incremental economic activity, according to the most recent report from Anderson Economic Group (AEG). The URC also supported more than 81,000 jobs in Michigan that were directly or indirectly attributable to a URC institution.

The URC, an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, is one of the nation’s top research clusters and the engine for innovation in Michigan and the Great Lakes region, increasing economic prosperity and connecting Michigan to the world.

In terms of talent, the URC enrolled more than 141,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These URC students come from every county in Michigan, every state in the U.S., and more than 100 countries across the world. In fall 2019, nearly 70% of URC students were from Michigan. The URC universities are attracting and educating the best and brightest graduates, particularly in high-tech and high-demand fields most needed by Michigan’s key industries.

As of spring 2020, the URC had more than 1.3 million alumni worldwide. Over 690,000 URC alumni live in Michigan, accounting for 10% of the state’s population over the age of 24. URC universities have alumni in every county in Michigan and every state in the U.S. URC alumni also live in 180 countries across the world.

The URC universities attracted $0.94 of every federal dollar spent on academic research in Michigan, and accounts for 92 percent of all R&D conducted at higher education institutions in the state. URC research leads to advances in medicine, mobility, business and society as a whole.

URC increased tax revenues for the State of Michigan by $640 million in FY 2019. While the main goal of these universities is not to generate tax revenues for the state, the economic impact of the URC universities was more than 20 times the state’s total appropriations across the three universities in FY 2019.