Economic Reach

Higher education and the economic/business sector in Alabama have a very active and global economic reach. All universities and colleges alone have a total economic impact of more than $20 billion across the State of Alabama. Alabama exports rose to a record level in 2016, topping $20 billion for the first time on gains from overseas shipments of Alabama-made products.

In 2016, Alabama-made goods were exported to 189 countries in every corner of the world. The top 5 destinations, led by Canada, accounted for nearly half of Alabama’s exports last year. These markets are: Canada: $4.1 billion, China: $3.4 billion, Germany: $3.2 billion, Mexico: $2.6 billion, United Kingdom: $559 million. Rounding out the top 10 are Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates (UAE), France and Australia.

Countries posting large gains in imports from Alabama in 2016 include Denmark (335 percent), Kuwait (285 percent), Russia (219 percent), Taiwan (130 percent), and Sweden (126 percent).

International students and Alabama students who participate in the wide range of experiences offered as part of their degree programs not only enhance their degree and career potential but also strengthen Alabama’s global business climate. Employers are increasingly seeking and hiring Alabama graduates who have diverse skills in the many different disciplines offered and experiences abroad.

Alabama’s global reach is a statewide effort as seen on this map of foreign direct investment businesses in the state and from the impact of interna

tional students in the state. For more information on Alabama’s Economic Reach see the pages included in this section.