The University of Southern Mississippi’s Annual Economic Impact Increases to $663 Million

September 30, 2021

By: Margaret Ann Macloud

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM)’s annual economic impact on the state of Mississippi has increased to more than $663 million, representing a 10 percent increase since the previous study in 2016.

The study, conducted by subject matter experts from the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship and independently verified by IMPLAN Inc., shows that the University’s annual economic impact has grown—a previous study found the University’s annual impact to be $603 million. The current study examined the University’s annual economic and social activity from 2017 through 2019, finding that the University generated more than $34 million per year in tax revenue, and the overall output of student and employee spending added $565 million to Mississippi’s economy.

“I am so proud that The University of Southern Mississippi continues to be a significant economic driver for our state,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “We take our role as a community partner very seriously, and we look forward to continuing to meet the economic, education, and research needs of the Greater Pine Belt, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the state of Mississippi as a whole.”

Highlights of the study include:

  • -The University expends $112 million in external funding for research purposes, accounting for an economic impact of $188 million in FY19 and generating an additional $7 million in state and local government taxes.
  • -The University is an employment generator, creating and supporting 7,437 jobs throughout the state.
  • -Southern Miss Athletics generated a total economic impact of $41 million, up from $31.2 million in 2015.
  • -Three multimillion-dollar buildings totaling $36.1 million have opened in the past five years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in support of USM Coastal Operations, with two additional buildings and one research vessel coming online in the near future.
  • -Approximately 60 percent of USM’s graduates stay in the state of Mississippi to live, work and apply learned skills.

“The University’s increased economic impact activity compared to five years ago is an indication of the progress made in fulfilling the University’s mission,” said Dr. Shannon Campbell, USM Senior Associate Vice President for Coastal Operations, and former director of the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.

The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi works with public entities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals to plan and implement activities designed to generate jobs and income using data-driven economic development.

“IMPLAN Inc., a highly respected economics firm, independently verified the analysis conducted by the Trent Lott National Center,” stated Dr. Chad Miller, Interim Director of the Trent Lott National Center and Professor of Economic Development.

To access the full study, click here.

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