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Our Economy

NIH is a powerful economic engine investing nearly $30.1 billion annually in medical research for the American people. In fiscal year 2012, NIH-funded research supported an estimated 402,000 jobs all across the United States.

Photo of 4 people in the uniforms of different career paths.

The economic impact of NIH does not end there. It has been estimated that every $1 of NIH funding generates about $2.21 in local economic growth. Also, discoveries arising from NIH-funded research serve as a foundation for the entire U.S. biomedical industry. Long considered the world’s leader in innovation, that vital sector exports an estimated $90 billion in goods and services annually and employs 1 million U.S. citizens with wages totaling an estimated $84 billion.

Consider the economic payoff of just one NIH-supported research initiative: the successful effort to read all the letters in the human DNA instruction book. The U.S. government’s $4 billion investment in the Human Genome Project spurred an estimated $965 billion in economic growth from 1988-2012—a 178-fold return on investment, after adjusting for inflation.

This page last reviewed on March 12, 2014

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