By Chris Booker, Ohio State News
The Ohio State University is a global leader in student success, research and innovation, patient care and athletic excellence. Now a new study has placed a value on the university’s regional and statewide economic impact. Including operational and capital expenditures as well as student and visitor spending, Ohio State is estimated to have supported $19.6 billion of industry output in Ohio, 116,819 jobs in Ohio, $7.5 billion of labor income, and $663.1 million of tax revenue to state and local governments.
The Economic Impact of The Ohio State University presents a regional and statewide analysis as of 2019. The study was commissioned by the Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge (ERIK) in collaboration with units and colleges across the university. Nancy Bowen, associate professor and extension field specialist, community economics, Ohio State Extension, and Jim Landers, associate professor of practice and Enarson Fellow, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, led a team of faculty and staff to research and develop the report.
“We have long known that institutions of higher education have the capacity to significantly drive economic development and create a ripple effect of positive impact in the communities and states where they are located,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “This data-driven report quantifies that impact and establishes a benchmark against which we will measure future success in our ongoing mission to be the nation’s preeminent, 21st-century land-grant university.”
The report examines the overall spending totals for fiscal year 2019. In addition to more than $8.5 billion in operational and capital expenditures, the university also generated $341.8 million in estimated spending by Ohio State students and $585.5 million in estimated visitor spending.
Glenn College Professors Ned Hill and Joshua Hawley, director of the Ohio Education Research Center, served on the study review team. Jay Johnson, interim associate vice president for the Office of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence at ERIK and also an Instructor for the Glenn College, oversaw much of the data collection for the project and was part of the research team.
FY19 was selected as the basis for this study because it was the most recent pre-pandemic year for which university financial data, student and visitor spending data, and industry sector economic data for Ohio was available.
“We are very proud of the economic impact of The Ohio State University. As we continue the momentum of accelerating research, innovation and entrepreneurial activities and developing our innovation district, it is critical that we conduct a detailed analysis to estimate our economic impact, which serves as a baseline for future growth,” said Grace Wang, executive vice president of research, innovation and knowledge. “I’m grateful to the faculty and staff for their thorough, scholarly study to develop this report.”
Researchers also did deep dives into the estimated economic impacts of several units across the university as well as the Transportation Research Center Inc., an affiliate of Ohio State. The results include:
Ohio State Campuses Economic Impact
Operational and capital spending by Ohio State’s campuses, which include Columbus, Lima, Marion, Mansfield, Newark and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Wooster (exclusive of the Wexner Medical Center), coupled with student and visitor spending supported an estimated:
- $9.7 billion of industry output in Ohio
- 61,243 jobs in Ohio
- $3.1 billion of labor income in Ohio
- $327.9 million of tax revenue to state and local government
Wexner Medical Center Economic Impact
The statewide economic impact analysis suggests that the Wexner Medical Center’s operations in FY19 supported an estimated:
- $9.4 billion of industry output in Ohio
- 52,294 jobs in Ohio
- $4.0 billion of labor income in Ohio
- $318.3 million of tax revenue to state and local government
Ohio State Athletics Economic Impact
- $366.4 million of industry output in Ohio
- 1,890 jobs in Ohio
- $114.4 million of labor income in Ohio
- $11.3 million of tax revenue to state and local government
Ohio State Extension Economic Impact
- $122.3 million of industry output in Ohio
- 1,126 jobs in Ohio
- $64.3 million of labor income in Ohio
- $4.6 million of tax revenue to state and local government
Transportation Research Center Inc. Economic Impact
- $60.4 million of industry output in Ohio
- 291 jobs in Ohio
- $16 million of labor income in Ohio
- $1.5 million of tax revenue to state and local government
A leader in talent generation in Ohio as well as nationally and internationally, Ohio State has 15 colleges offering more than 200 undergraduate majors, 162 master’s degree programs, 104 doctoral degree programs, and nine professional degree programs. Ohio State’s academic programs offer approximately 12,000 courses and serve almost 70,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Since its founding, Ohio State has granted over 800,000 degrees and currently boasts more than 550,000 alumni.
In 2020, the National Science Foundation ranked Ohio State 15th among U.S. public research universities based on research and development expenditures and 5th among all U.S. universities based on industry-sponsored research. Ohio State’s research and development expenditures totaled $1.236 billion in 2021, including $581 million in federal research and development expenditures, a nearly 8% increase from the previous year.