Our Ecomomic Impact on the State of Arkansas

Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas was established in the city of Fayetteville as both the state university and the major land-grant university for Arkansas. The University of Arkansas is a flagship university for the integration of student engagement, scholarship and research, and innovation that collectively transforms lives and inspires leadership for a global society. As such, the impact of the University of Arkansas extends far beyond the transfer of knowledge from professors to students and is far reaching in social and economic terms. As leading research universities across the country engage in the process of enumerating the socio-economic impacts of their respective institutions, it is appropriate to document, from time to time, the contributions at the local and state levels of operations at the University of Arkansas. This report describes those impacts in detail.

After conducting months of deliberative data gathering and analysis, the researchers from the Center for Business and Economic Research can confidently report that the University of Arkansas delivers a major economic impact to the state of Arkansas, in excess of $1.2 billion, annually. This monetary impact is achieved by serving as a significant source of human capital development, a key partner in fostering the knowledge economy in Arkansas, and also by providing a sustainable economic base for growth in the state and local economies. Presented below are the main findings of the exploration of the University’s impact, followed by highlights from each of the three sections of the report.

Fast Facts

  • University’s economic activity of $1.2 billion includes $975.6 million in recurring operational impacts and $236.8 million in one‐time construction impacts.
  • Direct expenditures of $534.4 million within Arkansas by the University of had an economic output multiplier of 2.27 in 2014.
  • In the 2014 fiscal year, the $173.8 million in state appropriations to the University were leveraged
  • 6.98 times. Put another way, each dollar appropriated by the state of Arkansas to the University generated an economic impact of $6.98.
  • The 2014 payroll at the University of Arkansas was $317.9 million, and the institution directly employed 1,352 faculty and 3,108 staff.
  • Spending by students contributed $307.4 million and spending by visitors added $35.8 million to the Northwest Arkansas economy in 2014.
  • The operations of the University and associated economic activities contributed $11.1 million in state income taxes, $21.9 million in state sales taxes, $10.2 million in local sales taxes, and $3.5 million in property taxes.
  • 68,622 alumni, accounting for 2.0 percent of the state’s population, earned $2.3 billion in wages or 9.0 percent of the state’s total and paid $114.8 in state income taxes, $54.9 million in state sales taxes, and $11.2 million in county sales taxes.
  • Numerous research and outreach centers provided valuable services to the state by serving children, increasing civic knowledge and participation, and making businesses more profitable.
  • In Northwest Arkansas, the economic impact of the University of Arkansas was $932.3 million in 2014. This economic activity included $907.2 million in recurring operational impacts and $25.0 million in one‐time construction impacts.