University of Illinois System
Our CompassLocationsImpactPriorities & Initiatives

The University of Illinois System has an economic impact of nearly $19 billion statewide. With more than 445,000 alumni living in Illinois, strategic partnerships for innovation and talent retention, and physical and intellectual assets, we are a leader in driving economic prosperity for the people of Illinois.

Learn more about the economic impact of our individual universities:

We power the state economy through our employee and student spending and the increased earning power of our graduates.
Total staffing (fte) Faculty: 6,800
Staff: 21,600
Graduate assistants: 5,200

Developing human capital

The U of I System makes an enormous contribution to the economy through its sheer number of students, faculty, and staff. More than 123,000 students and staff put dollars right back into Illinois businesses and services. And as those students graduate and join our nearly 850,000 living alumni, they become the employees of the future for organizations in Illinois and beyond, earning and spending that fuels the economic engine.

ROI of taxpayer investment
For every dollar students put into their education, they receive $5.20 in career earnings an average 15.7% annual return rate.
Three of every four 2019-20 Urbana-Champaign graduates who secured a first destination remained in the state of Illinois for those opportunities.
JUMP trading location

Engaging partners

Through partnerships with our government, industry leaders, national organizations, and other educational institutions, we are working to tackle key societal challenges and drive economic growth for Illinois and beyond. Partnerships between corporations like Caterpillar, State Farm, Northern Trust, and OSF Healthcare and the U of I provide a source of innovation and talent for industry and a way to expand university research support. Led by the U of I System, a new interdisciplinary public-private research institute in Chicago, the Discovery Partners Institute, is the first node of the Illinois Innovation Network designed to catalyze economic growth.

Learn more about the U of I innovation ecosystem.

The Research Park in Urbana-Champaign is home to 120+ companies and has an estimated total annual economic output of $428 million.

Unleashing full potential

We’re committed to ensuring that innovations grow beyond our universities and into the private sector. There are currently 102 active startups licensing U of I intellectual property, including 62 based in Illinois, each creating jobs and driving economic development.

Note: This section displays a visual of interactive data. Select the download data link for data about Illinois Startup Industry that follows which enables users to download a file for an alternative textual representation of the visual data.