Nearly six decades of public and private investment in UC San Diego has created an internationally renowned, top-tier research university with $5 billion+ in annual revenues and $1.35 billion in annual sponsored research.
A new economic impact report recently compiled by Tripp Umbach, one of the nation’s leading consultancy group for higher education institutions, details UC San Diego’s estimated $16.5 billion in annual economic impact in California. That's more than the entire annual revenue of the state of Arizona. The report also found that UC San Diego directly and indirectly supports 100,492 jobs in California. 74,071 of those jobs are in San Diego County, nearly twice the capacity of Petco Park.
Since 2008, UC San Diego’s annual economic impact in California more than doubled from $7.2 billion to $16.5 billion—an increase of 129%. The total number of jobs supported in California more than doubled from 39,000 to 100,492—an increase of 158%. Jobs in San Diego County increased 120%, from 33,600 to 74,071. Outpatient visits nearly doubled from 476,000 to more than 834,000—an increase of 75%.
What's all this really mean? To provide context to these number, let's answer three simple questions.
Q: Why is UC San Diego’s economic impact important to San Diegans?
A: Simply put, jobs and spending.
Within the county, UC San Diego supports more than 74,000 jobs (directly and indirectly). That’s 74,000 people who pay mortgage or rent; buy groceries, gas and coffee; and pay taxes. That’s $11.5 billion of economic impact on the county—5% of our gross regional product.
Without UC San Diego, the county would lose 74,071 high-paying jobs. That’s the equivalent of losing seven major tech and healthcare companies such as Qualcomm, Dexcom, Viasat, Illumina, Kaiser Permanente, Scripps Health, and Sharp Healthcare.
Without us, San Diego would also lose $423.7 million annually in charity health care and other benefits UC San Diego Health provides. This includes $77 million for uncompensated care and $289 million that covers shortfalls from Medicare, Medi-Cal, and other safety-net programs. There’d be a shortage of doctors and specialists as well. We’re the region’s only academic health system.
Q: Why is research so important to San Diego?
A: Simply put, research grows economies.
The scientific and R&D cluster in San Diego provides short- and long-range impacts. The research of today grows the industry of tomorrow. UC San Diego alumni helped create companies such as Qualcomm, Facebook, Viasat, GoPro, Cymer, and Sun Microsystems. Companies like these dominate world markets with technologies developed at UC San Diego or because of UC San Diego.
More than 1,000 companies around the world use or have used technology created at UC San Diego. The total estimated annual sales of UC San Diego-related companies worldwide are $32.4 billion.
Not only does UC San Diego train workers for the jobs of today, our faculty and alumni have founded groundbreaking companies that change the world and create the jobs of tomorrow.
Q: What’s next for UC San Diego?
A: Simply put, growth and connection.
This fall, UC San Diego’s student population topped 39,000 students. Since 2012, undergraduate applications nearly doubled and enrollment grew by 34%. Graduate enrollment grew by 41%. By 2028, UC San Diego is projected to be the nation’s largest residential campus.
To keep up with demand, a $2-billion construction plan is underway on and around our La Jolla campus. The largest construction projects, such as the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, will help nearly double our on-campus housing and add the necessary academic and research space to meet students’ needs. As we invest, our impact will grow. By 2023, UC San Diego’s annual economic impact for the state of California is projected to be $18.8 billion ($12.9 billion for San Diego County alone).
We are strengthening our connection to San Diego. In 2020, our new downtown space at Park Avenue and Market Street will open with K-14 outreach, innovation training, and enrichment programming. And in 2021, the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley extension will open with two stops on the La Jolla campus. The trolley opens up UC San Diego’s wealth of enrichment, recreation, and entertainment opportunities to everyone from San Ysidro through Downtown and points north.
We’re inviting the public to San Diego’s newest Innovation and Entertainment neighborhood—UC San Diego. With first-rate academic, research, outpatient, clinical, hospital, entertainment, enrichment, and recreation facilities, UC San Diego is becoming a preferred destination for students, patients and the community.
To learn more about UC San Diego's economic impact and to view and download the full report, go to https://ucsd.edu/about/economic-impact-report.html.