Atlanta skyline at sunset

Economic Impact


In addition to its strong cultural influence, alumni leadership, and academic strengths, Emory has a profound economic impact upon metro Atlanta—$11.4 billion in 2018—as we create thousands of jobs, generate millions in tax revenues, undertake capital investment, and contribute to communities through service, health care, research, and civic engagement.

Economic Impact Report Scope and Methodology

Emory exerts a 11.4 billion dollar statewide economic impact.
In 2018, 56 percent of vendor spending went to firms in the Atlanta metro area (about 995 million dollars) and a total of 1 billion dollars was with vendors in Georgia.

As the second-largest employer in the greater Atlanta region, with a full-time workforce of 37,716, we directly or indirectly support nearly 77,400 jobs statewide. With those jobs comes spending power, as demonstrated by our employees and students, as well as the nearly four million patients and visitors each year whose purchases help fuel the regional economy. In the end, Georgia is stronger because of Emory.

Best Employer for Diversity, and Best Employer for Women (Forbes)
Largest Employer in the 20-county metro Atlanta area (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Emory Healthcare has a major economic impact on the region through patient care, research, construction, teaching, and partnerships. In 2018, its economic impact within the state was $6.53 billion; the total value of community benefits was $558.8 million to improve the health care of Georgians, with $98 million provided in charity care.

Our investments in new construction—averaging $225 million per year since 2013—benefit local businesses and their employees. In the past six years, the university undertook $1.3 billion in capital projects, while third-party investors have spent $12 million annually on real estate developments near Emory’s campus.

And Emory helps support local and state government through sales and business taxes, delivering more than $240 million in state tax revenue annually.

Once students leave school, the value of an Emory education accrues not just to our graduates but also to their communities. With ties to campus and community, graduates often stay in the region. Based on the number of alumni living and working locally, this yields an additional $350 million of household income within Atlanta and $860 million within the state—a benefit that keeps on giving.

Our Four Impact Areas


Emory's economic impact is felt in four major ways:

Operations

As an educational institution, health system, and research enterprise, Emory is a major employer and procurer of goods and services, both of which support local economic activity. In fact, we consistently demonstrate our commitment to local purchasing and track vendor spending to locally owned businesses.

See our Operations Impact
Lantern on Haygood-Hopkins gate

Wage Premium

For alumni with a bachelor's degree, those living in the city of Atlanta earn an estimated $33,200 additionally each year, and alumni in the rest of the state earn an additional $26,000. Emory alumni with a master's degree earn an estimated wage premium of $25,400 in Atlanta and $24,600 in the state.

See our Earning Impact
Two women walking a dog through an Atlanta park

Capital Investments

Emory undertakes significant capital investments each year, including new buildings, major renovations, and maintenance projects. These investments support jobs, create demand for goods and services, and generate statewide tax revenues.

See our Capital Investments Impact
Rendering of the new Emory University Student Life Center

Ancillary Spending

Emory students account for the largest expenditures; their total annual ancillary spending is more than $260 million, of which the majority is local.

See our Spending Impact
Emory students walking on campus

Operations

Emory’s most direct economic contribution is through its large and growing annual operations. Operations and payroll to employees support jobs and businesses within local and state economies. The university’s current budget is about $2.28 billion, and it directly employs 14,560 employees, while Emory Healthcare’s current budget is about $3.91 billion, with 23,156 employees.

As an educational institution, health system, and research enterprise, Emory is a major employer and procurer of goods and services, both of which support local economic activity. In fact, we consistently demonstrate our commitment to local purchasing and track vendor spending to locally owned businesses.

The university’s operations produce:

  • $2.09 billion in total output, supporting 17,600 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $1.41 billion in earnings within the city of Atlanta;
  • $3.27 billion in total output, supporting 24,500 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $1.87 billion in earnings within the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area (a 30-county region); and
  • $3.29 billion in total output, supporting 24,600 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $1.87 billion in earnings in the state of Georgia.

Emory Healthcare’s operations produce:

  • $2.79 billion in total output, supporting more than 20,100 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $1.66 billion in earnings with the city of Atlanta; 
  • $6.27 billion in total output, supporting 40,800 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $3.20 billion in earnings within the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area; and
  • $6.53 billion in total output, supporting more than 42,200 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $3.30 billion in earnings in the state of Georgia.

Tax revenue impact from Emory’s operations:

Although Emory is a tax-exempt institution, its operations create significant amounts of revenue for the city and state governments. The city of Atlanta does not levy income taxes, so Emory’s impact was analyzed only for sales and business tax revenue at the city level. Annually, Emory University and Emory Healthcare generate:

  • $4.9 million in total tax revenue for the city of Atlanta; and
  • $204.7 million in total tax revenue for the state of Georgia, including $162.1 million in personal income tax revenue
Emory research has generated 57 Georgia-based startups that have created more than 1,000 jobs.
A major employer, supporting 1 in every 23 jobs in DeKalb and Fulton counties

Wage Premium

Emory has 149,000 alumni worldwide, of whom a significant portion—44,000—live in Georgia. Their higher income potential, by earning an Emory degree, infuses more spending into the state economy.

For alumni with a bachelor’s degree, those living in the city of Atlanta earn an estimated $33,200 additionally each year, and alumni in the rest of the state earn an additional $26,000. Emory alumni with a master’s degree earn an estimated wage premium of $25,400 in Atlanta and $24,600 in the state. 

Each year, the estimated increase in earnings generates significant economic impacts:

  • $95 million in total output, supporting 700 induced jobs and $373 million in earnings in the city of Atlanta;
  • $768 million in total output, supporting 5,200 induced jobs and $986 million in earnings within the Atlanta MSA; and
  • $836 million in total output, supporting 5,800 induced jobs and $1.10 billion in earnings in the state of Georgia.
Alumni living and working in Georgia earn an additional 860 million dollars a year owing to the education they received at Emory.

Tax revenue impact from Emory’s wage premium:

The economic activity attributable to wage premium effects generates an estimated $300,000 in tax revenues within the city of Atlanta and $33 million in tax revenues within the state of Georgia on an annual basis.

Capital Investments

Emory undertakes significant capital investments each year, including new buildings, major renovations, and maintenance projects. This spending supports jobs, creates demand for goods and services, and generates statewide tax revenues. More important, because the work is done sustainably, it helps make Emory a more vibrant community for students, patients, employees, and local residents. Additionally, third-party investors have spent about $12 million annually on real estate developments near Emory’s campus.

Each year, the university’s investments have generated approximately:

  • $213 million in total output, supporting 1,200 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $56 million in earnings within the city of Atlanta;
  • $389 million in total output, supporting 2,200 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $113 million in earnings within the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area; and
  • $395 million in total output, supporting 2,300 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $114 million in earnings within the state of Georgia.
The university undertook 1.3 billion dollars in capital investments in the past six years and third-party investors have spent 12 million dollars annually on real estate developments near Emory's campus.

Tax revenue impact from Emory’s capital investments:

  • $200,000 in total tax revenue, $100,000 in sales and use tax revenue, and another $100,000 in business tax revenue for the city of Atlanta; and
  • $3.9 million in total tax revenue, including $2.4 million in income tax revenue, $1.2 million in sales and use tax revenue, and $200,000 in business tax revenue for the state of Georgia.

Ancillary Spending

Emory students account for the largest expenditures; their total annual ancillary spending is more than $260 million, of which the majority is local. The university also attracts roughly four million visitors and patients annually, whose spending on lodging, food, and retail stimulates the local and statewide economies. In total, visitors to Emory spend about $200 million each year within the state economy.

Student and visitor spending at Emory University and patient spending at Emory Healthcare are estimated to generate:

  • $82 million in total output, supporting 800 direct, indirect and induced jobs and $20 million in earnings within the city of Atlanta;
  • $315 million in total output, supporting 2,500 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $77 million in earnings within the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area; and
  • $320 million in total output, supporting 2,500 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and $78 million in earnings within the state of Georgia.

Tax revenue impact from Emory’s ancillary spending:

  • $300,000 in total tax revenue, $200,000 in sales and use tax revenue, and another $100,000 in business tax revenue for the city of Atlanta; and
  • $2.6 million in total tax revenue, including $1.7 million in income tax revenue, $800,000 in sales and use tax revenue, and $100,000 in business tax revenue for the state of Georgia.
In 2018, Emory visitors and patients added 195.9 million dollars to the state economy.
Emory students contribute an additional 150 million dollars in spending to the state.
Emory University Financials 2018 cover

Emory University Financials 2018

Consolidated Financial Statements and Supplementary Information, August 31, 2018 and 2017 (PDF file)

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Emory University Economic Impact Report 2018 cover

Printable Economic Impact Report

Download a standalone version of the Emory University Economic Impact Report (PDF file).

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