Trent University provides $712M annual impact on Peterborough economy: study

A new study says Trent University provides a $712-million boost to the Peterborough economy. Trent University

A new study says Trent University has an annual economic impact of nearly $712 million on the Peterborough region.

The Conference Board of Canada — an independent, applied research organization focusing on economic forecasting — released a study, “How Ontario Universities Benefit Regional Economies,” which examines the economic impacts Ontario universities have on 13 census metropolitan areas. The study focused on the impact of university spending activities, human capital development impacts and estimated gains in regional economies due to research and development (R&D) spending.

In the Peterborough region, the study says Trent University’s combined impact of spending and human capital development is $711.9 million annually, or approximately 10.1 per cent of gross domestic product.

The study says $360 million can be attributed to spending from university activities from 2018 to 2019, corresponding to 5.1 per cent of the regional GDP. Another $352 million can be attributed to human capital development, equivalent to five per cent of the region’s GDP.

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“In addition, we estimate that investments in university R&D have increased regional GDP by $159.8 million compared to 1971,” the study states.

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Other highlights of the study:


  • In 2018-19, university activities supported 4,083 jobs, or approximately 6.5 per cent of total regional employment — attributed to direct employment, capital projects, student and visitor expenditures and alumni spending. “They are a major source of labour income in the region, supporting $227 million in 2018-2019.”
  • In 2015, there were 12,994 Ontario university graduates working in the region; their average income was $65,168. High school graduates earned $38,079.

Tax revenue:

In 2018-19, university spending generated:

  • $54 million in federal taxes
  • $45 million in provincial taxes
  • $11 million in municipal taxes

The study says in total, Ontario universities supported $45.6 billion in economic activity in the province during the 2018–19 academic year, or approximately 5.6 per cent of Ontario’s GDP, and supported more than 487,635 jobs (6.7 per cent) and generated $13.6 billion in government revenues.


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