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EIU Media Relations

Newest EIU Economic Impact Study details vast financial returns


Eastern responsible for more than $371M in economic output, 4,500+ jobs, $53M in public revenues

(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University released the results of its 2024 Economic Impact Study today, which specifies the vast economic contributions EIU makes to its local communities, the region, and the State of Illinois.

“The results of our 2024 Economic Impact Study make absolutely clear that Eastern Illinois University’s success is critical to the success of the region and the State of Illinois,” said EIU President Jay Gatrell. “EIU’s contributions to Illinois underscore the importance of our mission and reinforce EIU’s commitment to the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s goal to create ‘A Thriving Illinois’.”

The new study illustrates that EIU:

  • generates $371.5M in economic activity through EIU’s operations and employments, capital improvement projects and growth partnerships, student spending and tourism dollars.
  • creates and sustains more than 4,540 jobs for local and regional community members that help East Central Illinois communities continue to grow and thrive.
  • supports $53.8M in additional public revenues.

The study’s executive summary, available on EIU’s website at, notes that Eastern Illinois University continues to drive the East Central Illinois economy and the State. Key insights include:

  • Annual spending by on- and off-campus students delivers a significant economic boost to the region. Based on EIU’s 2023 data, annual expenditures for room, board, and miscellaneous living expenses averaged $3,957.43 per student.
  • Approximately 1,289 EIU retirees reside in Illinois, contributing annuities totaling $56.8M annually that support and sustain community, regional, and State economies.
  • EIU programs and events attract attendance and participation of close to 115K annually. This includes approximately 41K non-local visitors (at least two-hours’ drive time from EIU), who are responsible for contributing $9M to the region in annual tourism dollars.

Eastern Illinois University conducted its 2024 Economic Impact Study with the help of WIU’s Rural Economic Technical Assistance Center (RETAC).

For more information about Eastern Illinois University, including its broad array of academic and career readiness programs, or any of EIU’s other community-based services and opportunities, visit or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart,
Public Information Coordinator

Booth House
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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