Serving Society

Direct Economic Contributions

NIH directly supports the economy through investments in research institutions and job formation.

Research Investment

With an annual budget of more than $45 billion, NIH is the largest single public funder of biomedical and behavioral research in the world. In fiscal year 2022, NIH funding generated an estimated $96.84 billion in economic activity.

Image credit: NIH

  • Every state and almost every congressional district received a share of NIH investment.
  • Each year, NIH awards over 60,000 grants that directly support more than 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 different institutions. 
  • In fiscal year 2022, every $1 of NIH funding generated approximately $2.64 of economic activity.


For every $100 million of funding, NIH-supported research generates 76 patents. These patents create opportunities for an estimated $598 million in further research and development.

Image credit: Daniel Soñé Photography, LLC

  • NIH-funded patents represent significant advances in their fields and produce 20% more economic value than other U.S. patents.
  • More than 30% of NIH grants produced a scientific article that is later cited in a commercial patent.

Career Training

The NIH-funded Environmental Career Worker Training Program empowers individuals in underserved communities with training in environmental cleanup and construction. The program provides a value-added of $1.79 billion in economic benefit while reducing U.S. government expenditures by $717 million.

Image credit: Photo courtesy of Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

  • From 1995–2013, the program has provided job training to more than 13,000 workers in more than 25 states, teaching the skills necessary to obtain employment in environmental cleanup and construction fields.
  • The program increases participants’ employment opportunities and promotes engagement in community improvement efforts, while also generating $2.3 million annually in matching funds from local sponsors.
  • In 2022, this program was selected to participate in the Justice40 initiative, a White House initiative to tackle climate change.


Research Investment

  1. NIH Budget:
  2. United for Medical Research Report on NIH’s Role in Sustaining the U.S. Economy. 2023.


  1. Manhattan Institute. Patents, Pasteur, and Productivity: A Model for Promoting Scientific and Economic Growth at the National Institutes of Health. 2017.
  2. Azoulay P, et al. Rev Econ Stud. 2019;86(1):117-152. PMID: 31662587.
  3. Dolgin E. Nature. 2017;544(7648):14-15. PMID: 28383011.

Career Training

  1. National Institutes of Health: The Economic Impact of the Environmental Career Worker Training Program. 2015.

This page last reviewed on December 8, 2023