Office of External Affairs

Economic Impact Report FAQ 

Why did the UW conduct an Economic Impact Report?

The UW commissioned the Economic Impact Report to enhance the understanding of the UW’s impact on the state of Washington by:

  • Quantifying the economic and societal impacts of the UW on the city, region and state of Washington.
  • Articulating the financial and societal benefits of a research institution and its part in the state’s success as an innovative, global leader.
  • Establishing the impacts of the UW as a global research university.

Why did the UW do this report now?

The UW’s last economic impact report was completed five years ago. The findings from the 2015 report were extremely helpful not only for internal use, but also to help convey relevant facts about how the University is an integral partner in the community and state. Updating the report not only keeps this information relevant, but also allows the University to evaluate and demonstrate how its economic impact has grown and changed over time. This is the third iteration of this report.

Many large public universities conduct impact reports approximately every five to 10 years. Other research institutions and universities, including, the University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California have also conducted impact studies in the past to help them better understand their contributions to the successes of their respective cities, regions and states, as well as their research and medical impacts on their communities.

Who funded this project?

This project was commissioned by the UW offices of External Affairs and Planning and Budgeting and funded by Planning and Budgeting.

Who contributed to the Economic Impact Report?

The project was overseen by the offices of External Affairs and Planning and Budgeting. The content and data collection was guided by a university-wide collaboration of parties including working, advisor and academic groups. These groups represented the varied interests and voices found in and around the University. Key leadership, faculty, staff, alumni and regional thought leaders contributed time through interviews and directly supplied necessary data to help guide this project and ensure accuracy.

What methodology was used in this study?

The methodology employed in the calculation of the UW’s impacts on the state of Washington is IMPLAN, a micro-computer-based, input-output modeling system. Primary data utilized to conduct the analysis was collected from the UW. The primary data includes: capital expenditures, operational expenditures, jobs, payroll and benefits, visitor numbers and taxes. The approach taken on this study was decidedly conservative. However, the impact findings compare favorably to other top research universities in the country.

How do I find out more?

For more details about the project, please visit the Economic Impact Report website or contact:

  • Randy Hodgins, Vice President, External Affairs at for programmatic questions.
  • Victor Balta, Senior Director, Media Relations, for media-related questions.