Bang for the buck

A look at Mizzou’s economic impact on the state of Missouri.

Published on Show Me Mizzou April 20, 2022

money making illustration

Mizzou is cranking out big bucks for Missouri’s economy. Illustration by Blake Dinsdale.

As Missouri’s largest and most comprehensive university, Mizzou’s impact extends far beyond its CoMo campus. According to a new economic impact report, the university generated $5 billion for the state’s economy in fiscal year 2021, supported nearly 50,000 jobs and contributed $281.8 million in state and local taxes.

“The University of Missouri contributes to the overall vitality of our state by educating tomorrow’s workforce, conducting innovative research and providing outreach to the citizens of Missouri by sharing our knowledge base,” says MU President Mun Choi. “With a 25-to-1 return on investment for Missouri taxpayers, an investment in MU is an investment in our state.”

The study was conducted by Tripp Umbach, which analyzed the economic value generated by MU’s research, operations, service and expenditures statewide. The firm looked at MU Extension, academic medicine, research, athletics and alumni.*

Reaching out

MU Extension, which works with citizens in all of the state’s 114 counties and the city of St. Louis, exerted a $117.6 million economic impact. Through MU Extension, more than 2.5 million Missourians connect annually with the university’s knowledge base and resources to manage local issues and improve their quality of life. Every dollar invested in MU Extension returns $13 of public value.

Research engine

The impact of MU’s research enterprise totaled nearly a billion dollars ($988.8 million). Research supported more than 6,800 jobs and generated $55.2 million in state and local taxes. Recent highlights include the grand opening of the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building and the launch of MizzouForward, a 10-year, $1.5 billion investment to support the university’s research and education missions.


The university’s academic medicine sector generated a $2.1 billion impact, including 21,789 jobs statewide. Academic medicine comprises MU Health Care — mid-Missouri’s largest health system — the College of Veterinary Medicine, Sinclair School of Nursing and School of Health Professions.

Sporting chance

Mizzou’s Tigers across 20 sports are a nationally recognized, Division I athletic franchise that generated $319.1 million in economic impact while supporting 3,591 jobs and contributing $15.9 million in state and local taxes.

Speaking of alumni

Of each graduating class, roughly 64% remain in Missouri, and now more than 153,000 alumni populate the Show-Me State. Their in-state spending produces an estimated economic impact of $26.8 billion, separate from the university’s $5 billion impact.

*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. 

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