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Princeton University accounts for nearly $1.6B in N.J. economic output, study says

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Princeton University released an economic impact survey that showed how much it contributes to the state and region.
Princeton University released an economic impact survey that showed how much it contributes to the state and region. - ()

For the first time in eight years, Princeton University has released a study on its economic impact on the state and local level.

Robert Durkee, the university’s vice president and secretary, said the report highlights the positive impact an institution like Princeton can have on the state.

“I think what this demonstrates very clearly is that it’s actually a very strong net-positive for the state that you have an institution like this that employs the number of people that we employ, that purchases what we purchase and does the kind of work that we do,” he said.

The analysis, completed by Appleseed Inc., estimated that the university “directly and indirectly” accounted for $1.58 billion in economic output in New Jersey, while supporting 13,450 jobs with total earnings of $970.7 million.

By the numbers

  • Payroll: $601.9 million;
  • Purchase of goods/services, total: $453.6 million;
  • Goods/services purchased within Princeton-area ZIP codes: $35 million;
  • Goods/services purchased in the rest of Mercer County: $1.5 million;
  • Goods/services purchased in New Jersey: $137.3 million;
  • Construction/maintenance: $318.1 million, 43 percent of which went to New Jersey contractors and vendors;
  • Student spending: $59.7 million off campus (directly and indirectly accounted for);
  • Visitor spending: $49.7 million off campus (directly and indirectly accounted for);
  • Financial aid to New Jersey students: $20.2 million, estimated.

Of Princeton’s workforce, 35 percent reside in the Princeton area, 23 percent reside elsewhere in Mercer County, 23 percent reside elsewhere in New Jersey and 19 percent reside outside the state.

Durkee said the college felt it important that this information be collected and made public, so the state can see the return on its investments.

“The state, in particular, provides benefits to a university like ours, I think, for good public purposes,” he said. “There’s a longstanding belief that education is a good thing and a public good.

“Individuals benefit from the education they receive, but so does the state, society and the economy.”

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Andrew Sheldon

Andrew Sheldon


Andrew Sheldon covers technology and education. His email is andrews@njbiz.com.

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