The overall economic and fiscal impact that the University of Alabama at Birmingham has on the vitality of the region and state includes the following elements:

  • Economic impacts through spending (capital expenditures, operational expenditures, payroll and benefits)

  • Direct, indirect and induced employment impacts

  • Government revenue impacts at the local and state levels

  • The impact of spending by employees in the local economy on goods and services

  • The impact of visitor spending on the economy (wage premiums, job creation, etc.)

  • The impact of student spending in the region (retail/merchandise, hospitality, etc.)

  • The impact of the attraction of external research dollars, the commercialization of research discoveries, and the impacts on the economic development throughout the region

  • The impact that employees and students have on the community through donations and volunteer work.

This economic impact analysis measures the effect of direct, indirect and induced economic, employment and government revenue impacts for UAB Academic, UAB Health System and Southern Research operations throughout the state of Alabama as well as the Birmingham Combined Statistical Area (CSA).

For the purposes of the impact analysis, UAB is defined as the combined impacts of UAB Academic, the UAB Health System and Southern Research. These entities are further defined as:

  • UAB Academic – The UAB Academic impact analysis included all schools and colleges of UAB, including UAB Arts (AEIVA, Alys Stephens Center) and UAB Athletics.

  • UAB Health System – The UAB Health System impact analysis included the UAB Health System Corporate Office, the UAB Hospital, the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation (UAHSF), Medical West, Baptist Health System in Montgomery, Triton Health System / Viva Health Group, and UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Authority.

  • Southern Research – Southern Research impact analysis included only the operations of Southern Research.

Impact findings were generated for UAB Academic and Southern Research at the state and Birmingham CSA geographies; impact findings for the UAB Health System were generated for all of the aforementioned entities at the state-level geographic analysis, but omitted Baptist Health for the Birmingham CSA analysis (Baptist Health is not located within the Birmingham CSA).


The methodology employed in the calculation of these impacts was IMPLAN. Primary data utilized to conduct the analysis was collected directly from each institution analyzed. Data included capital expenditures (five-year average), operational expenditures, employment headcounts, payroll and benefits, taxes, and event information for FY16. The multipliers used in this study were derived from the IMPLAN software. Tripp Umbach’s approach to economic impact analysis is conservative by way of utilizing the industry standard software, IMPLAN, to conduct the impact analysis and using conservative assumptions for individual spending patterns. Tripp Umbach bases assumptions of spending on federal per diem rates. Economic impact begins when an organization such as UAB spends money. Studies measuring economic impact capture the direct economic impact of an organization’s spending, plus additional indirect and induced spending in the economy as a result of direct spending.

Total economic impact measures the dollars that are generated within the region due to the presence of UAB Academic, UAB Health System and Southern Research. This includes not only spending on goods and services with a variety of vendors within the region and the spending of its faculty, staff, students and visitors, but also the economic impact generated by businesses that benefit from UAB’s spending. It is important to remember that not all dollars spent by an organization remain in its home state. Dollars that are spent out of the region, in the form of purchases from out‐of‐area vendors, are not included in UAB’s economic impact on the region. The multipliers utilized in this study were derived from IMPLAN.

Key economic impact findings presented within this study include the total current (FY16) economic impacts of UAB Academic, UAB Health System and Southern Research operations on employment in Alabama, as well as the revenue impact on state and local governments. It is important to note that all impact values of UAB reported in this study occur on an annual basis.