Aerial view of the UC San Diego campus. Courtesy of the university

UC San Diego announced Thursday that its economic impact on California is estimated at $16.5 billion.

Nearly 75,000 jobs in San Diego County and more than 100,000 across the state are related to the university, according to a report prepared by the Pittsburgh-based consulting group Tripp Umbach.

UCSD’s economic output in California has increased 129% since 2008, from $7.2 billion to $16.5 billion. UCSD also conducts $1.2 billion in annual sponsored research.

Tripp Umbach compiled the report with data from fiscal year 2018, university officials said.

“UC San Diego is a massive gravitational force in San Diego,” said Sen. Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, adding that the university produces “ground-breaking research, medical solutions that change and save lives and business clusters that send out endless ripples of jobs and tax revenue for our regional and state economies.”

UCSD’s economic output is expected to continue increasing in the years to come, with an estimated $18.8 billion in annual impact in California by 2023 and an impact of $12.9 billion in San Diego County alone by 2032.

The university will also gain a connection to the rest of the county in 2021 when the $2.17 billion Mid-Coast Trolley Blue Line Extension is expected to open. The project includes a planned 11-mile extension of trolley service by San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego to La Jolla.

“In this new ‘research age,’ UC San Diego has emerged at a world- renowned scientific, medical and engineering innovation hub that is providing real solutions to some of the planet’s most challenging issues,” UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.