Researcher in UCLA Lab

UCLA’s impact on California economy is $11.06 billion

Researcher in UCLA Lab

Among UCLA’s contributions to the state are research and technologies that have been the basis for numerous startup companies.


UCLA is an economic powerhouse for Los Angeles, Southern California and California overall. A study by the Beacon Economics consultancy found that UCLA generated a total of $11.06 billion in economic activity and supported more than 72,700 full-time jobs throughout the state during the 2016–17 fiscal year.

The report also found that UCLA is the fourth largest employer in Los Angeles County, behind the county itself, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the City of Los Angeles, and ahead such companies as Kaiser Permanente, Northrop Grumman and Target Corp.

“UCLA’s contributions to our state’s economic vitality are significant and widespread, from discovering life-changing technologies to employing tens of thousands of Californians,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Measuring this economic impact allows us to demonstrate how every dollar invested in UCLA pays substantial dividends back to people throughout our state.”

The UCLA Economic Impact Report also demonstrates that UCLA’s spending activity has a total impact far beyond that of its direct spending. For example, technology companies that license UCLA-developed technology and research are often valued in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

“UCLA is a source of pride for Angelenos everywhere,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The university’s impact can be felt all around us — in the workers it employs, the jobs it creates across our city and state, the startups it develops on campus, and the discoveries made in its labs and classrooms. Our economy and our communities benefit from UCLA’s presence and performance every day.”

Among the study’s highlights:

  • During the 2016–17 fiscal year, UCLA had a total impact of $11.06 billion on the California economy.
  • UCLA’s spending activity supported more than 72,700 full-time jobs throughout the state.
  • More than $4.15 billion in labor income (earnings) was generated by UCLA through direct, indirect and induced spending activity.
  • UCLA generated $5.86 billion in direct spending throughout California, including $2.61 billion in the City of Los Angeles alone.
  • UCLA helped generate $706.1 million in tax revenue throughout California through direct spending and secondary spending impacts.
  • UCLA had an economic impact of $2.42 billion in indirect (business-to-business) spending, including $2.31 billion in Southern California and $765.1 million in the City of Los Angeles.
  • UCLA had an economic impact of $2.79 billion in induced (household) spending, including $2.52 billion in Southern California and $718.9 million in the City of Los Angeles.
  • UCLA Health Sciences alone had a total impact of $6.49 billion on the California economy, including $6.13 billion in Southern California and $2.39 billion in the City of Los Angeles.
  • During the 2016–17 fiscal year, 24 startups launched using UCLA-developed technology.
  • For the same period, 251 U.S. patents were issued to UCLA.

With more than 45,000 students and 43,000 employees, UCLA is renowned around the world for the quality of its students and faculty, and its dedication to its mission of research, teaching and service. UCLA is consistently ranked each year as one of the best universities in the United States, including as the No. 1 public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and as No.1 among best-value universities by Forbes.

Researchers in a UCLA chemistry lab

UCLA ranked No. 1 public university by U.S. News & World Report

Researchers in a UCLA chemistry lab

Researchers like chemistry professor Miguel García-Garibay are just a part of why UCLA excels in rankings.


UCLA tops the list of U.S. public universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings, which are published today.

“It is wonderful to see UCLA recognized for our many academic achievements and the impact of our research,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “As a world-class university dedicated to the public good, we can also take great pride in being acknowledged for the access, opportunity and economic mobility UCLA provides to students from all backgrounds throughout California and the world.”

Five other University of California campuses were among the top 12 public universities in the overall rankings: Berkeley (No. 2), Santa Barbara (5), Irvine (7), UC Davis (11) and San Diego (12).

In the overall rankings UCLA was tied for 19th with Washington University in St. Louis.

The top 18 institutions on the list are private universities, led by Princeton and Harvard, with Columbia, MIT, the University of Chicago and Yale tied for third. The publication’s methodology includes factors that tend to favor private universities, such as endowment size, rate of alumni giving and student–faculty ratio.

UCLA also shined in category-specific rankings published as part of the report. UCLA was ranked No. 1 for economic diversity among the top 25 universities, based on the number of undergraduate students receiving Pell Grants (36 percent at UCLA). In addition, the publication chose UCLA as the No. 1 public institution among the “best colleges for veterans” and No. 4 among all universities, which is up one spot from 2018.

In addition:

  • UCLA tied for No. 3 among public universities (tied for No. 23 overall) among “high school counselors’ top college picks,” which is calculated based on guidance counselors’ assessment of the quality of undergraduate academic programs.
  • UCLA tied for No. 8 among U.S. public universities (tied for No. 13 overall) for ethnic diversity.
  • UCLA tied for No. 10 among public universities’ engineering schools that offer doctorates (tied for No. 18 among public and private institutions).

UCLA consistently performs well in a broad range of national and international rankings.

Most recently, UCLA was ranked No. 1 among U.S. public universities in the Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal rankings of U.S. universities. In August, UCLA was ranked No. 2 among American public universities and No. 11 worldwide among public and private universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. In April, UCLA was ranked as the No. 1 best-value public university by the Princeton Review.