The Economic Impact of the University of Washington

The University of Washington is a major driver of economic growth, creating prosperity and innovation in communities throughout Washington state.

The University of Washington’s economic impact on the state of Washington exceeds $15 billion per year. Providing world-renowned education and research programs at the Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma campuses, along with cutting-edge medical education in Spokane, the UW remains one of the best public investments Washington can make for its economy, its people and its future.

“Science is never done. We never have a perfect understanding of how things work, so it’s important that we continue to invest in new research and come up with new, bold ideas.”

Daniel Schindler Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

15.7 billion dollars generated in economic impact in fiscal year 2018

“The UW has a big presence and a positive image. It’s well known within the state and across the country. When I say I trained at the UW for psychiatry, it carries a lot of weight.”

Dr. Marilynn Holman Psychiatrist, Grand Coulee, Washington

UW is the 5th largest employer in state accounting for 1 out of every 37 jobs.

"The UW's mission is to serve the public, a commitment we honor in countless ways. We are proud to contribute to our state's communities and its thriving economy. "
Ana Mari Cauce President, University of Washington

UW Medicine provided the community with $461 million in uncompensated care in 2018.

UW Economic Impact Study overview

In April 2019, the UW engaged Parker Philips Inc. to measure the economic contribution of the University's operations across the state of Washington, in the Puget Sound region and in the cities of Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma. There are many ways to measure the University’s impact — this analysis is one.

  • Study period: Fiscal year 2018
  • Data sources: University of Washington, UW Medicine, UW Research
  • Study geography: Washington state, Puget Sound region, Seattle, Bothell  and Tacoma
  • Methodology:  IMPLAN data and software were used to conduct this economic contribution analysis. The IMPLAN database is built using ZIP code, county, state and federal economic statistics that are specialized by region — not estimated from national averages — to measure the impact of an organization’s economic activity.

The UW’s economic impact includes the following elements:

  • Capital expenditures, operational expenditures, salary data, and state and regional business volumes
  • The direct and indirect employment impacts of the University
  • The government revenue impact at both local and state levels
  • Additional impacts on the state economy including charitable giving, volunteerism, philanthropy, alumni and athletics