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Vanderbilt’s impact on mid-state economy increases to $3 billion

Jan. 14, 2002, 2:41 PM

January 14, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt’s impact on the local economy totaled at least $3 billion last year, according to a recently completed analysis. The University’s economic impact on the Middle Tennessee region in fiscal year 2001 is up from $2.8 billion in FY 2000 – a 7 percent increase.

The estimate is based upon generally accepted practices for assessing economic impact and represents the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001. The analysis takes into account direct expenditures such as salaries and wages, fringe benefits, vendor payments, capital construction and equipment, and taxes and fees to state and local government, as well as the spending Vanderbilt’s employees, faculty, students, patients and visitors inject into the economy. The analysis encompasses all aspects of Vanderbilt’s operations, including teaching, research and health care services.

‘While the economic impact of the University is enormous, it is the people of Vanderbilt—students, faculty, researchers, health care professionals and many others—who really make a difference in the quality of life we enjoy in Middle Tennessee,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee. “Whether it is through the uncompensated medical care we provide to the region, the thousands of jobs we generate or the cultural opportunities we offer, Vanderbilt takes very seriously its citizenship and partnership in the community,’ he said.

“Vanderbilt plays a critical role in everything that makes Nashville a great city,” said Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell. “Whether it’s providing jobs for our people, educating our children or investing in our communities—Vanderbilt is there, every day.”

The largest private employer in Middle Tennessee and second largest in the state, Vanderbilt employs about 15,400 persons – more than 70 percent of whom live in Davidson County. Direct expenditures for FY 2001 include $700.7 million in salaries and wages, $140.8 million in fringe benefits including employer-paid Social Security and Medicare, $568.6 million in vendor payments for goods and services, $141 million in capital construction and equipment spending and $2.8 million in state and local taxes and fees.

“For each dollar Vanderbilt spends, it has a rippling effect throughout the community,” said Michael Pons, the University financial analyst who conducted the study. “We are able to measure the direct impact and, through the use of multipliers applied to each category of expenditure, the rippling effect throughout the 40 counties that make up Middle Tennessee.”

Pons said the multipliers used in the annual analysis are comparable to those employed by other universities and were reviewed for reasonableness with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Pons said the University’s economic activity supported an estimated 28,900 jobs in Middle Tennessee last year.

Additionally, faculty and staff generate more than $113 million in federal, state and local taxes as a direct result of their employment at the University. Vanderbilt employees pay an estimated $85.5 million in federal income tax, $11.1 million in state and local sales taxes, $13.8 million in local property taxes and $2.8 million in vehicle registration payments.

Vanderbilt is currently engaged in its largest-ever capital improvement program, with more than $500 million in campus construction and renovation either recently completed, underway or expected to begin shortly.

The University also supports the community through the annual Community Giving Campaign for the United Way of Middle Tennessee, Combined Health Appeal and Community Shares. Last year, faculty and staff donated more than $800,000 to the hundreds of agencies these entities represent. Vanderbilt leads all other schools in the Southeastern Conference and most colleges and universities nationwide in contributions to this campaign.

Contact: Susanne Loftis, (615) 322-NEWS