What is Economic Impact?

Economic impact begins when an organization spends money. This creates ripple effects in the economy through the spending of local businesses in the supply chain and the household spending of people earning income from those businesses. 

Pitt’s total economic impact includes direct, indirect, and induced expenditures.

Direct Impact

Indirect Impact

Induced Impact

What Pitt spends on goods, services, and employees

What local businesses spend as a result of Pitt’s expenditures

What people spend as a result of what they earn through Pitt’s direct and indirect spending


Pitt’s economic impact isn’t a by-product. It’s an essential part of the University’s role, from the local and regional level to the statehouse and the global stage.

Economic impact is one of the ways Pitt is making a difference in the lives of individuals, communities, and the world.

The University of Pittsburgh’s impact on the Pennsylvania economy is dynamic.

Forbes Avenue at night with the Cathedral of Learning

Individual Campuses

Pitt comprises five campuses — Pittsburgh, Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville. The Pittsburgh campus is in the heart of Oakland, home to some of the world’s most iconic and entrepreneurial organizations, foundations and institutions of arts and culture. From the Pittsburgh campus to the Bradford and Titusville campuses, both minutes away from the Allegheny National Forest, to the Johnstown and Greensburg campuses located in the Laurel Highlands, the University serves Pennsylvania’s families and businesses while contributing knowledge and innovations to help build a healthier, more sustainable state.

A student researcher works in a lab

Research & Innovation

The University of Pittsburgh ranks among the top universities in the world for its exceptional research strength and academic programs that focus on areas of great societal need and preparing students for productive and meaningful lives. Research is a major source of external investment in the University, and Pitt research has a substantial economic impact on society and the world.

Academic Medicine

The University of Pittsburgh continues to build upon the strong foundation of past leaders and dedicated physicians. Clinical and basic research have grown remarkably and continue to attract support from federal institutions, private foundations and corporations. Pitt Med’s faculty is currently ranked among the top 20 nationwide in federal grant and contract support.

Pitt graduates celebrate in their caps and gowns


Pitt Athletics sponsors 19 sports programs that attract teams and fans from outside of Pennsylvania, which generates significant economic and employment impacts. The Pitt Panthers are a nationally recognized, historic program that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. With more than 500 student-athletes, 300 band members and 70 spirit squad members, the Panthers are known for a commitment to success both in the classroom and on the field.


Alumni & Workforce

Pitt educates and trains the future workforce of Pennsylvania and beyond. Each graduating class provides essential contributions to the workforce that Pennsylvania needs to succeed in the 21st century. Pitt is a talent magnet, attracting top students in a wide range of disciplines — many of whom stay in Pennsylvania upon graduation.

Students share a table and work on their laptops

Driver of Economic Development

Pitt is a financial anchor, fueling local businesses and economies with an impact that extends to every corner of the commonwealth. Below are a few examples of Pitt’s commitment to economic development throughout Pennsylvania.

Two colleagues talk at an information session

Community Partner

Through its community engagement efforts, Pitt educates children, citizens, future employees, leaders and innovators. Pitt provides community access to expert faculty, arts and cultural activities, top-tier medical care and education, research libraries and the future workforce. It is challenging to assign a dollar amount to the outreach and community activities of a major research university such as Pitt, but on a daily basis the life of Pennsylvanians is enhanced by its presence in a multitude of ways.