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University of California Health (UCH) is the largest academic health system in the U.S., the fourth-largest health care delivery system in California, and operates the largest health sciences instructional program in the nation.

UCH annually enrolls nearly 15,000 students and trainees — with nearly 70 percent remaining in California after graduation or residency. UCH is an invaluable asset to the state.

provider and patient in gym settingUniversity of California Health encompasses many of the health-related components of the University and has its system headquarters within the UC Office of the President. UCH includes six academic medical centers, 21 health professional schools, four children’s hospital campuses, a Global Health Institute and systemwide services that improve the health and well-being of the University’s students, faculty and staff.

UCH is an economic engine:

  • UCH medical centers and hospitals are financially self-sustaining.
  • UCH entities employ nearly 200,000 Californians.
  • UCH operates the nation’s largest health sciences instructional program. Nearly 15,000 students and trainees attend UCH health professional schools.
  • More than 70 percent of UC health sciences graduates remain in California.
  • UC students are vital to the regional economies surrounding each campus. Students spent $5.2 billion in out-of-pocket money on non-tuition goods and services in 2018-19 across California.

University of California Overall Economic Impact

University of California Health is one component of the overall University of California system. As is the case with UCH, the UC system’s overall economic impact on the state is significant.

Beyond contributing to groundbreaking research and excellence in patient care and health professional education, UC generates $82 billion in economic activity per year. And UC-related spending and activities support more than 500,000 jobs across California.

These findings are documented in Systemwide Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impact Analysis, January 2021.

The report found that UC plays a critical role in bolstering California’s economy, contributing significantly to the state’s vibrancy and economic strength.

Key Findings from UC Economic Impact Report

student on desk with microscopeBeacon Economics evaluated UC’s fiscal impacts on California. They found that university activities in education, health care, research and public service create economic benefits in every corner of the state.

Among the key findings:

  • UC-related spending and activities support more than 529,000 jobs — 2 percent of total California jobs, or 1 in 45 jobs in the state.
  • California sees a big return on its fiscal investment in UC: The University generates $21 in economic output for every $1 it receives — including nearly $10 in labor income.
  • UC activities generate $12 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
  • UC alumni tend to out-earn their California peers: UC undergraduate alumni in California earn $9,300 more per year, on average, than other college degree holders.
  • Alumni with graduate or professional degrees do even better, earning $35,400 more on average than other graduate or professional degree holders in the state.

Above and Beyond Direct Economic Impacts

University of California is much more than an economic benefit for the state.

UC’s commitment to excellence, its significance to California, and its devotion to growth make the system the world-class institution it is today.

As an epicenter of research and innovation, a leading driver of social mobility, and a nationally ranked provider of medical services, UC transforms lives and shapes futures for the better.

Research and Innovation

The economic impact study reaffirmed UC as a world leader in research and innovation:

  • UC produces an average of five inventions per day.
  • In fiscal year 2019, UC received over 500 patents.
  • The University holds over 5,000 active U.S. patents and nearly 6,000 foreign patents.
  • This reputation for excellence attracted nearly $6 billion in federal, state and private research awards to the University in fiscal year 2019 alone.

Social Equity

A UC education contributes to closing the economic opportunity gap, according to the economic impact study:

  • Roughly 40 percent of UC undergraduates are the first in their family to attend college. Thirty seven percent are from low-income families.
  • Within six years of graduation, most first-generation UC graduates earn more than their parents.
  • Most low-income graduates earn more than their parents in just five years.
  • Nearly half of California residents who enter UC as freshmen graduate without any student debt.
  • Almost 60 percent of California residents enrolled at the University have all their tuition and fees covered by financial aid.

UC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report

Read The University of California Systemwide Economic, Fiscal and Social Impact Analysis to learn more. For health-related economic impact, turn to page 85 of the report.