Contact: Caron Blanton
Mississippi Public Universities provided $6.527 billion in economic impacts around the state in 2020, a recent study conducted by the University Research Center found. The study examined the contribution of the state’s public universities to the Mississippi economy and the significant role its graduates play in the state’s economy.
“Mississippi’s public university system provides an outstanding return on investment to the state’s taxpayers,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “As the universities carry out their tri-fold mission of education, research and service, they also contribute to the economy through operational spending, supporting jobs, and preparing graduates to enter the workforce. Our graduates are an essential part of the labor force that helps Mississippi’s businesses and organizations thrive and prosper.”
The study projected the university system’s impact on Mississippi economy to increase to $8.052 billion by 2030. The direct, indirect and induced effects on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), total employment, and real personal income are included in the calculations, which focused on three major components of the university system’s impact:
- University Operations, including the number of employees, wages, construction cost, research spending, and all other operational costs
- Off-campus spending and all non-operational activities, such as sports, conferences, and volunteer hours provided by students and employees
- Additional earnings of graduates entering the workforce
The number of jobs supported by the university system through direct, indirect and induced employment was estimated to be 80,280 jobs in 2020. By 2030, URC estimates 98,801 jobs will be supported through the university system’s impact on the state. The salaries these employees earn contribute to Mississippi’s economy through consumer spending, paying taxes and investing in real estate.
The report found that the university system provides an excellent return on investment for our state. Each dollar of state funding for Mississippi Public Universities generates approximately $1.52 of personal income in Mississippi and grows the Mississippi economy by $1.72. In 2020, the universities contributed an estimated $289 million to State General Fund Revenue in Mississippi.
The University Research Center gathered data from the 2014-15 through 2019-20 academic years and used the five-year average for the calculations. Most of the inputs for the analysis were obtained from a survey of the IHL campuses and the Institutions of Higher Learning’s annual financial statements. Information on graduates and their average annual earnings was obtained from the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) managed by Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis (NSPARC). The study was authored by URC Senior Economist Sondra Collins, Ph.D.
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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.