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Anchored and vibrant

Universities, as large organizations that are anchored in their communities, can potentially have significant economic and social impacts on the immediate community, the region and even the state. A recent report developed by the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis found Virginia Commonwealth University’s economic impact on the Richmond region and on the commonwealth of Virginia is significant.

VCU Economic Impact 2017

Virginia Commonwealth University generates nearly $6 billion in economic activity and supports 63,000 jobs in Virginia, according to a new report examining VCU’s economic and cultural impact.

The numbers tell an important story

As VCU and its employees, students and visitors spend money purchasing needed supplies, food and services, etc., the businesses that supply these goods and services must, in turn, purchase supplies and employ workers, who, in turn, use this money to purchase goods and services. The size of the multiplier reflects the extent to which the dollars circulate in the economy.

Impact on Richmond

$4 billion total economic impact

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47,000 jobs

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x 3.70

A total Richmond regional multiplier of 3.70 — for every dollar that VCU spends in the metropolitan area, the region experiences a total economic impact of $3.70.

Impact on Virginia

$5.9 billion total economic impact

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63,000 jobs

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x 3.20

A total commonwealth of Virginia multiplier of 3.20 — for every dollar that VCU spends in the state, the commonwealth experiences a total economic impact of $3.20.

There’s more to this story than numbers

The identities and the fates of VCU and the Richmond region are inextricably linked. The Richmond region provides a supportive home to VCU, and VCU, in turn, produces tremendous economic value and contributes in every conceivable way to the betterment and enhancement of the community.

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Through descriptive data, as well as focus groups and interviews with businesses, government agencies, nonprofits and other regional stakeholders, CURA identified VCU’s contributions in four key areas that shape economic impact and the overall quality of life:

  • Talent
  • Innovation and the entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Regional stewardship
  • Local culture


The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, established in 1992, is a division of the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and serves business, government and nonprofit organizations at the local and regional levels. CURA provides policy and program evaluation, decision support systems and strategic planning.