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Latest Facts and Figures about
Key Facts about Florida State University’s Economic Impact on Tallahassee Leon County
— Latest Facts and Figures —

Last Updated: October 2021


  • FSU’s campuses are comprised of over 400 buildings and cover over 1,600 acres.[1] The bulk of these facilities are located on the main campus, (Leon County Campus), in downtown Tallahassee. Other locations include the Rez Lakefront Park, the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering facility, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
  • FSU is an institution of 43,953 students, including 36,038 Florida residents. 35,998 of those students attend class on the Leon County campus.[2]The university’s total operating budget for 2019-2020 academic year was $1.5 billion, and the budget for 2020-2021 is $1.6 billion.[3]
  • In 2020, FSU employed 13,570 people across all departments. 6,585 of them were regular salaried, full-time employees. An additional 126 persons were employed on a regular salary part-time classification, and the remaining 6,859 were employed under OPS classification.[4]
  • In September of 2020, Tallahassee City Commissioners adopted a $743.1 million operating budget for the 2021 fiscal year. This is approximately $2.4 million more than the FY20 operating budget.[5] FSU’s operating budget for FY2020 is $1.62 billion, which is more than double that of the City of Tallahassee.
  • University operating revenues totaled just under $590.4 million for the 2019-2020 FY, which is a $18.9 million decrease from 2018-2019. Operating expenses totaled $1.40 billion for the 2019-20 FY, up over $74 million from 2018-19. Net non-operating revenues totaled $796.8 million for the 2019-20 FY, an increase of $45.4 million from the 2018-19FY.[6]
  • The average bi-weekly payroll for all FSU system employees was $31,171,396 and the total payroll for fiscal year 2020 (including gross salaries and employer paid benefits and taxes) was $874,247,000.[7]

Faculty, Staff, and Alumni

  • University faculty and staff contribute to their local economy through their purchasing power and taxes. In 2021, the average monthly rent payment in Tallahassee was $1,330. Full-time salaried employee, faculty and staff contributions were estimated to be $6,798,056 per month or $81,576,672 annually.[8] These contributions do not account for part-time OPS employees who may additionally contribute to the economy of Leon County.
  • It is estimated that the average resident of Leon County, with a population of 292,198, paid $862 in sales taxes to the county (in 2020).[9] The 2,545 traditional faculty members are estimated to have contributed $2,195,223 in sales taxes to Leon County in 2018. All 6,585 full-time salaried employees contributed $5,679,978 in sales tax in 2020.[10]
  • Florida State University employees have won seven Nobel prizes, first in 1933 and most recently in 2016. The university currently employs two Pulitzer Prize winners and 14 Guggenheim Fellowship professors. Every year since 2000, at least one FSU faculty member has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship. Three FSU faculty members were endowed as Fulbright Scholars for the 2017-18 school year, and nine FSU faculty members were awarded in 2019-2020.[11]
  • As of April 2021, there are a total of 371,516 living FSU alumni. 224,427 of them are living and working in Florida, and 42,517 reside in Leon County This concentration of FSU alumni is higher than anywhere else in the state of Florida.[12]


  • Total Research Expenditures (external only) were $228 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.[13]
  • The total amount of Sponsored Research Contract and Grants (C&G) awards received during FY 2020-2021 were $250.1 million. $213.8 million of these contracts and grants were received from the federal government, $22 million were received from the state and local government, and $14 million were privately funded.[14]
  • FSU researchers received $250.1 million in funding for fiscal year 2020, $17 million dollars more than 2019. Funds came from federal, state and private sources.[15]
  • Since FY 2005-06, the FSU Research Foundation has allocated $250,000 annually under the Grant Assistance Program (GAP), a funding mechanism to help FSU researchers transfer their work from the laboratory into the commercial market.[16]


  • FSU students spend substantially in the area. Students spend money on tuition, books, school supplies, housing, food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. These expenditures vary by the residency status and degree level of each student. Student spending by Florida State University students, both in funds spent in the area and in funds spent at the university, totaled $891 million in fiscal year 2019.[17]
  • Costs for students attending Florida State University depend on each student’s living situation and residency status. Florida residents living on campus or in an off-campus apartment paid an estimated $23,126 during the 2020-2021 academic year, while Florida residents living with their parents paid $17,420. This includes tuition, housing, books, transportation and other personal expenses. Non-Florida residents living on campus or in an off-campus apartment paid an estimated $36,256 during the 2020-2021 academic year, and non-residents living with their parents paid $25,168[18]
  • The 42,537 students at FSU’s Leon County campus are estimated to have contributed $36.9 million in sales taxes to Leon County in 2020. This accounts for about 14.6% of total estimated sales tax revenue to Leon County in 2020.[19][20][21]

Capital Expenditures

  • FSU currently has $403,977,211 dedicated to underway major projects and $ 118,341,922 allocated for minor projects.[22][23] These projects are funded through the FSU budget, bondholders, FCO grants, PECO allocations, departmental funding, ESCO budget allocations, and private donations.[24]
  • FSU receives funding for capital expansion projects through the state of Florida’s Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) In fiscal year 2019-20, FSU received $2,122,388 in PECO appropriations for developmental research[25]
  • FSU is the top user of electricity, using 6.15% of the electricity in Tallahassee. The state of Florida is in second place, using 3.67%, followed by the City of Tallahassee, which uses 3.41%. In 2020, the university used more electricity than Florida A&M University (1.60%), the Leon County government (0.93%), Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (1.64%), Wal-Mart (0.72%), Publix Markets (0.85%), and the Federal Government (0.7%) combined.[26]

Visitors to FSU

  • In 2007, almost 630,000 people visited Leon County for reasons related to FSU—from prospective students and their families to the world’s most eminent scientists and artists. Altogether, they spent over $200 million on shopping, restaurants, entertainment, groceries, lodging, transportation, sports activities and events, arts and cultural activities, and other attractions.[27] In 2020, the average visitor to Tallahassee spent $288.31 dollars during their trip. This generated a total economic impact of $766,180,400 in fiscal year 2019. On average, each visitor to Leon County generated $455.24dollars to the local economy during their visit.[28]
  • Football game weekends bring in a significant amount of tourism to Leon County. During a typical football season, out-of-town attendees brought $47.8 million in direct spending during the seven home games.[29]
  • FSU home games hosted an average of 16,116 attendees per game for 2020.[30] In 2020, 60 percent of non-student attendees to FSU football games travelled over 3.5 hours to Tallahassee and contribute to the local economy through food and lodging. During the Fall 2020 season, FSU football attracted 219,600 out-of-town visitors to Leon County.[31]
  • Visiting teams competing against FSU at Doak Campbell Stadium book an average of 160 room nights in Tallahassee per game during football season. In 2020, FSU hosted five home football games in Tallahassee.[32] At an average Tallahassee hotel stay cost of $145 per night on non-football weekends, FSU visiting teams contributed at least $116,000 in lodging.[33]
  • In addition to football, FSU varsity sports, such as baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, and golf also bring participants and visitors to Tallahassee who contribute to the local economy. Visiting baseball teams booked an average of 75 room nights per weekend. FSU also hosted 13 home volleyball games in which participants booked an average of 50 room nights per weekend. In total, baseball and volleyball generate an additional $211,225 in direct impact through participant lodging in Tallahassee.[34]
  • Visitors also booked 74,427 nights and spent $10,437,000 on lodging. On average, out-of-town attendees to football games spent $479 per day and $1,246 per trip. [35] In a typical season, football home games result in $102.1 million of economic impact on Leon County. [36]
  • Opening Nights performances and educational events attracted a total of 2,594 attendees in the 2020-2021 season.[37]


  • In the 2020-2021 academic year, FSU athletic camps had over 9,000 attendees, including 4,772 in Football, 1,300 in men’s basketball, 843 in women’s volleyball, 625 in women’s soccer, 451 in softball, 328 in baseball, 352 in women’s basketball, 130 in swimming, 126 in cross-country/track, 50 in men’s tennis, 36 in golf, 30 in women’s sand volleyball. [38]
  • There are over 20 academic and civics camps in session through the university every year. Every year, thousands of school students attend one of many FSU academic and civic camps.
  • 898 students attended summer camps at the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, while the Center additionally had over 62,000 visitors in 2019.[39]
  • Over 7,000 Florida K-12 students and teachers attended the STEM programs offered by the College of Arts & Sciences’ Office of STEM Teaching Activities in the 2020-2021 academic year.[40]
  • Every year, FSU Summer Workshop for Young Dancers recruits 45-55 middle and high school students from across the nation.[41]
  • There are 14 different music camps offered every summer at FSU. FSU Music Camps’ total face-to-face enrollment was over 1,400 students. During the summer of 2020, Camps provided 41, free, virtual classes to over 5,000 students. .[42]

FSU Foundation & Volunteer Work

  • Total expenses of the FSU Foundation decreased 6.3 percent ($4.02 million) from 2019 to 2020.[43]
  • For the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2020, the FSU Foundation allocated $51,974,883 in total gift commitments Total gifts included $9,502,225 in pledges, $6,030,541 gifts-in-kind, $17,560,474 in deferred gifts, and $18,881,643 in cash and securities.[44]
  • Total university endowments totaled $699,912,745, $704,105,609, a decrease of $4,192,864 from 2019 to 2020; FSU Foundation endowments were $502,238,077 an increase of $7,133,990 from 2019 to 2020.[45]
  • These commitments were given by a total of 15,394 donors; 60 percent were alumni/attendees, 9 percent were current students, 7 percent were parents, 12 percent were friends of the university, and the remaining donors were a conglomerate of faculty, staff, corporations, and partner foundations.[46]
  • The gift commitments from the FSU Foundation were allocated to various departments at the university. $11,85,611 were allocated for student financial aid, $1,235,658 were allocated to the faculty and staff, $3,292,897 were allocated for public service, $824,949 were allocated for property and infrastructure, $10,791,765 were allocated for the academic divisions, $27,845 were allocated towards research, $222,557 were allocated towards Strozier Library, $23,528,907 were allocated for other restricted purposes, and the remaining funds were allocated for other unrestricted purposes, such as physical plants and loans.[47]
  • FSU was awarded $100 million in December 2015 from the Jim Moran Foundation to create the FSU Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. In 2016, Brian and Kathryn Ballard gifted real estate to the university to serve as the headquarters for the institute.[48]
  • For the 2020 calendar year, 4,145 FSU students reported a total of 182,544 hours of volunteer work through the FSU ServScript program. Using the value of a volunteer hour as determined by, this contribution of service hours saved local communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations $5,209,806.[49]

Economic Impact

  • In fiscal year 2019-20, FSU generated $1.5 billion of direct revenue or expense. Including indirect effects, FSU contributed $2.9 billion worth of indirect industry output (revenue/sales) and 35,907 jobs.[50]
  • Including indirect effects, economic activity generated by FSU in fiscal year 2019-2020 supported $1.5 billion in labor income, $523 million in property income, and $95 million in business taxes.[51]
  • In 2019, the present value of lifetime earnings of an FSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree was expected to be $499,241 more than a high-school graduate. [52]
  • In 2019, 39% of FSU bachelor’s degree graduates found full-time employment with an average annual wage of $41,648, compared to high-school graduates in the same year, 12% of whom found full-time employment with an average annual wage of $24,780.[53]