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The University of Denver's annual economic impact on the Denver region is nearly $1 billion

University of Denver

The Economic Impact of the University

Nearly $1 billion annually. That's the University of Denver's total economic impact on the Denver metro region's economy.
To visualize the University's impact (both direct and indirect) on Denver and the Front Range, DU partnered with Development Research Partners, a Denver-based research firm, to compile a comprehensive study. You can download the full report (PDF) or see highlights below.

Proud to be one of Denver's anchor institutions, the University of Denver is an essential part of the community, providing a major source of revenue for area businesses and university suppliers.

The University employed 3,830 faculty and staff in 2015, spending $222 million on employee compensation, including wages and benefits. This makes the University of Denver second only to United Airlines as the largest private employer in Denver.

DU has invested more than $640 million in local construction over the last 20 years

The University has completely revitalized its campus over the past 20 years, spending an average of $32 million per year constructing new buildings and infrastructure. That investment translates into jobs for construction crews and people working in the trades, as well as for architects, designers and engineers. What's more, materials purchases benefit local and regional suppliers of everything from bricks and concrete to furnishings.

DU research brought over $22 million in research funding into Colorado last year

The University's research enterprise brings money to Colorado that funds the creation of new knowledge, drives innovation on campus and helps DU build on its mission of a being a private university dedicated to the public good.

DU’s roughly 11,500 students, many coming from outside of Colorado, contributed an estimated $115 million to the Denver metro economy in 2015. This includes spending on housing, shopping at local stores, attending cultural events, and engaging the service economy for everything from bike repairs to cable television.

About half of the University's undergraduates come from outside of Colorado, bringing their income into the region. The majority of DU's students then stay in Colorado after graduation, contributing their income as well as a strong supply of well-educated, highly skilled workers to the state's workforce.

An estimated 96 percent of the University's employees call the metro Denver region home. Their earnings and local spending generate fiscal benefits for state and local taxing districts. They pay property and sales taxes, as well as taxes on their incomes. Spending from visitors to campus and our students also contributes to the region's tax base—all money that is used to improve area schools, infrastructure and more.

70% of DU's freshmen come from outside of Colorado, bringing their incomes and their energy with them
DU faculty and staff pay enough income and property taxes to account for $13 million in funds for area infrastructure and schools

Roughly 32,700 people came to events at the University in 2015. They came for any number of reasons, from parent weekends to athletics and cultural events to graduation ceremonies. While in town, they spent money on everything from lodging and transportation to meals and cultural activities.

Explaining the difference between direct and indirect benefit

Calculating direct and indirect impact

The economic benefit figures in the report are a combination of direct and indirect impact. Direct impact describes the money directly spent in the region by the University. This includes employee wages, taxes and payments to local companies. Indirect impact is a calculation of the additional business activity and personal income indirectly caused by the direct impact.