STATESBORO — Georgia Southern University’s economic impact during fiscal year 2012 topped $846 million, setting a new record for one of the state’s growing research universities.
The study, conducted by the university’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, noted that the university’s growth, visitor and student spending and ongoing construction projects continue to fuel the area’s growth and economy.
“In fiscal year 2012, Georgia Southern had its largest economic impact ever on the local economy,” Georgia Southern President Dr. Brooks Keel said. “Georgia Southern is a great example of how a university’s growth can have a direct impact on its community as well as the surrounding region.”
The BBRED report calculated Georgia Southern’s economic impact base on five key areas of university activities: operating expenditures, construction projects, student spending, visitor spending and salaries and payroll. Together, these five areas made up the direct spending values used in this analysis, which this year totaled nearly $504 million.
Activities ranging from the Wildlife Center, Garden of the Coastal Plain and Georgia Southern Museum to athletics, live musical and theatrical performances had their impacts as well. During the 2011 fiscal year, the university attracted more than 163,300 visitors to Bulloch County, with an estimated impact of $47.4 million.
Student enrollment at the institution has also grown. Roughly 9,400 students relocated from northern Georgia (Atlanta area) to attend Georgia Southern in fall 2011.
Enrollment has increased every year since 2006, reaching an all-time high of 20,212 in fall 2011. Enrollment for fall 2012, when announced in the coming month, is expected to set yet another record for the growing institution.
The study noted that, as a result of the university’s continued growth, it is supporting a total of 8,386 jobs in the region. One-third of the total jobs linked to the university are attributable to the students and visitors, who together contributed to the creation of 3,308 jobs through their spending in the local economy.
In July, the University System of Georgia released its annual economic impact results that stated Georgia Southern’s economic impact was approximately $512 million.
Other information from the study showed that:
• Georgia Southern students spent more than $142 million in the local economy.
• For every $1 spent by Georgia Southern, its students, and its visitors, the secondary spending associated with that output created an additional $0.69 of economic impact, for a total impact of $1.69. This is referred to as the multiplier effect which represents the number of times this money circulates in the economy (e.g. 1.69 times).
• The direct expenditures of Georgia Southern, its students, and visitors contributed more than $283 million to the Gross Regional Product, which had a total impact of almost $487 million on the regional economy.
• Labor income related to Georgia Southern totaled $308 million.