Wright State has $2.3B economic impact on Dayton region, study shows

Credit: Erin Pence

Credit: Erin Pence

Wright State University’s economic impact on 16 counties surrounding Dayton is more than $2.3 billion, according to a study commissioned by the university.

About $2.1 billion of the university’s impact comes from Wright State graduates living and working in those 16 counties, the study says.

“This study further underscores that Wright State University is a foundational component of Dayton’s regional economy,” said Greg Sample, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Wright State.

Research spending at Wright State generated $21.7 million in added income to the region, and student spending added $23.9 million for the area economy, according to the study.

The 16 counties in what Wright State calls “Raider Country” are Greene, Mercer, Allen, Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, Van Wert and Warren counties.

The report also found that Wright State is good value for students. The average Wright State bachelor’s degree graduate will annually earn $28,100 more than someone with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Ohio, according to the report. Over a working lifetime, the benefits of a bachelor’s degree over a high school diploma will amount to $1.2 million in higher earnings per graduate.

Sample noted that the same firm produced an economic impact report for Wright State in 2018.

“A comparison of key metrics demonstrates our value to the region has only continued to get stronger,” he added.

The Wright State study was part of a greater effort from the Inter University Council of Ohio, which includes the public universities in the state. The IUC released their own study that showed Ohio’s public universities add $68.9 billion in income to the Ohio economy, including $4.1 billion in operations spending, which includes salaries.

“The goal of the study was to measure the economic impact of our 14 public universities, our students, and our alumni on Ohio’s economy and for Ohio taxpayers, as well as the benefits to our students of earning a degree,” said Laura Lanese, president and CEO of IUC. “The results were stagging and clearly demonstrate that Ohioans are making an especially smart investment when we invest in higher education.”

The studies analyzed data from fiscal year 2021–2022. It was conducted by Lightcast, formerly Emsi Burning Glass, a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners and regional developers.

Wright State spent $12,500 on the report, the university said.

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