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University of Missouri System reports $6.5 billion in statewide economic impact


Stephanie Fleming

Columbia, Mo.— University of Missouri System leaders today announced the results of an economic impact study that found UM System and its four universities have a $6.5 billion economic impact on the state of Missouri. The study was conducted by Tripp Umbach, a nationally recognized firm that has completed more than 500 economic impact studies for clients across the globe.

“Each of our four universities in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis have provided teaching, research, outreach and economic development excellence to Missourians for more than two centuries,” UM President Mun Choi said. “We are committed to enhancing the overall economic vitality of the state, and this study shows the University of Missouri System continues to deliver on its mission to the betterment of Missouri.”

For the study, Tripp Umbach measured the economic value generated by the UM System’s research, operations, service and expenditures throughout the state of Missouri in Fiscal Year 2021, which ran from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. The impact analysis measured effects throughout the state and each of its four universities as well as MU Extension, academic medicine, research, athletics and alumni.

Results of the report include:

  • $6.5 billion generated in economic impact by the UM System and its four universities, MU Extension, athletics and academic medicine
  • More than 69,000 direct and indirect jobs, both full-time and part-time
  • Approximately $366.5 million generated in state and local taxes
  • $1.5 billion economic impact generated by the UM System research enterprise
  • $2.4 billion generated in economic impact by UM System academic medicine
  • $376.8 million generated in economic impact by athletics at the four UM universities

“For every state dollar invested in the University of Missouri System, Missouri taxpayers saw $15.49 in economic benefits in 2021,” said Darryl Chatman, chair of UM Board of Curators. “Investing in our universities not only continues to produce tomorrow’s leaders, educate our workforce and engage in innovative research to solve some of our biggest challenges, it’s also a good investment in our state’s economy.”

Primary data for the study were collected from the UM System, including capital expenditures, operational expenditures, employee figures, payroll and benefits, taxes paid to local and state governments, visitation numbers for campus events, student figures, and proportions of students who live on and off campus to accurately measure their spending in the local area. Values in the report are generated by direct, indirect and induced operational spending, capital spending, payroll, visitor spending and student spending throughout Missouri.

“More than half of our living alumni remain in Missouri after graduation and put their education to use in every sector of our state’s economy,” said Todd Graves, Board of Curators member and chair of the Academic, Student Affairs, Research and Economic Development Committee. “One in 29 Missouri workers is a graduate of one of our four universities, and each enhances the economic strength of our state.”

“The impact our universities and statewide programs have on Missourians goes beyond economics,” said Marshall Stewart, chief engagement officer for UM System and vice chancellor for Extension and Engagement at MU Extension. “Our universities and their programs have a presence in every single Missouri county, serving the entire state to increase economic opportunity, increase educational access and promote the health and wellbeing of all Missourians.”

To view the complete report, visit:



Reviewed 2022-02-03