ABAC Economic Impact Half a Billion Dollars on South Georgia

September 25, 2019

TIFTON—Always a major player when it comes to economic impact, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College hit a home run during the 2018 fiscal year when ABAC impacted South Georgia to the tune of a half billion dollars.

“ABAC’s footprint in South Georgia makes quite a large impression,” Dr. Renata Elad, Dean of ABAC’s Stafford School of Business, said.  “As a result of the overall multiplier effect, ABAC’s economic impact was $499,403,672 in 2018.”

Elad analyzed the overall University System of Georgia (USG) report which was conducted by Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

“Out-of-state enrollment definitely played a part,” Elad said.  “Obviously, the word is getting around that ABAC offers a valuable education at an affordable cost.”

The USG report covered the 2017 fall term and the spring and summer terms of 2018.  During the 2017 fall semester, ABAC enrolled 3,394 students from 24 countries, 18 states, and 155 of Georgia’s 159 counties.

“With direct student spending of $44,729,654 impacting the region and an overall labor income impact of over $60 million regionally, ABAC is a strong partner in regional growth,” Elad said.  “ABAC has a significant footprint in Tift, Worth, Cook, Colquitt, Irwin, Turner, Decatur, Seminole, Miller, Grady, Early, Thomas, Mitchell, and Baker counties.”

Elad said household spending increased in nine categories in 2018.

“Nationally, nine of the 10 largest components of household spending increased,” Elad said.  “The 7.8 percent rise in personal insurance and pensions expenditures was the largest percentage increase among all major components followed by a 2.5 percent increase in food spending.”

The 26 USG colleges and universities had a $17.7 billion impact on communities across Georgia in 2018, an increase of almost five percent over the previous fiscal year.  The USG also created 168,284 direct and indirect jobs, a nearly three percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

“While we remain focused on graduating more students, keeping college affordable, and increasing our efficiency in delivering a quality education, we are proud our colleges and universities help power Georgia’s economy,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said.  “USG and its 26 institutions play an important role in generating jobs and boosting businesses across the state, befitting the investment Georgia’s leaders have made in us.”

The latest version of the annual study on the USG’s statewide economic impact concluded that, on average, every dollar of initial spending generates an additional 47 cents for the economy of the region that hosts the institution.

Of the USG jobs number, the report found that 30 percent are on campus and 70 percent are off-campus in either the private or public sectors.  On average, for each job created on campus 2.3 off-campus jobs are created as a result.  The jobs generated by the USG account for 3.8 percent of all the nonfarm jobs in Georgia, or about 1 job in 26.