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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Economic Impact

Every year on the Knoxville campus, we educate almost 29,000 students. In order to do that, we spend money.

We hire professors and staff. We construct buildings, buy supplies, and pay for utilities. Our employees, students, and visitors also spend money in our community.

All this spending supports local businesses, creates even more jobs, and generates millions in tax revenue.

Together, these streams of economic activity are foundational to our state’s prosperity.

$1.7 billion
annual impact on the state’s economy

What does that mean for Tennesseans?
This flow of money through the university, our students, our employees, and our visitors ripples throughout communities across the state.


Every year, UT spends hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries and benefits for our employees. We buy goods and services like construction, utilities, equipment, supplies, maintenance, and repairs. Our students and visitors also spend money—eating at local restaurants and shopping at nearby stores.


Payroll & benefits spending


Goods & services spending


Student & visitor spending


UT directly employs thousands of faculty and staff on our campus. As our employees spend their paychecks buying homes, cars, groceries, and other goods, they support additional local jobs.

UT employees

Full-time jobs in Tennessee supported by UT spending

in state and local tax revenue

Those are big numbers.

Yet they capture only a fraction of what Tennessee’s flagship university contributes to our state. The true measure of UT’s value is what our graduates do with their education.

When they leave this campus, they launch businesses, inform public policy, create meaningful art, and come up with new inventions. They join the workforce or the military. They educate the next generation of Tennesseans.

That is the real impact of UT.

Read the report and Chancellor Davis’s full editorial.