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2022 Economic Impact Report

The Global Health Sector's Contributions to North Carolina's Economy

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Global health is a cross-disciplinary field that promotes collective solutions to improving health, reducing health disparities, and protecting against global threats to health. From mitigating emerging disease outbreaks to developing treatments for diseases and increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation, North Carolina is home to a myriad of organizations that are at the forefront of global health. Activities like new drug development, medical device manufacturing and clinical research not only improve the health of the world's communities, but also stimulate and support employment and economic activity.

Despite challenges caused by the COVID–19 pandemic, North Carolina’s global health sector continues to grow and make substantial contributions to the state’s economy. More than 900 organizations work locally and internationally to save lives, improve health, and protect against global threats. This report provides an overview of global health organizations’ contributions to North Carolina’s economy, as well as the social impact these organizations have.

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Report Highlights:

  • North Carolina is home to more than 900 organizations and institutions, operating in more than 175 countries.​

  • Global health organizations sustain more than 117,850 jobs in North Carolina across multiple sectors. For each direct job in the global health sector, two additional jobs are supported in other industries. Combined, these direct and indirect jobs accounted for approximately 3.4% of North Carolina’s total labor force in 2021.

  • In 2021, global health jobs paid $13.1 billion in annual wages, salaries, and benefits -- an average of about $75,300 per job.

  • ​​ Global health organizations contributed $31.9 billion in total value added to North Carolina’s economy in 2021. This is equivalent to an increase in the standard of living of $3,000 per resident and is comparable to other important North Carolina sectors, such as construction.

  • The global health industry directly produced $37.2 billion of goods and services and contributed another $22.1 billion in output.

  • Growth in the number of global health organizations also has been strong: more than 180, or 20% of the organizations in this analysis, were founded in 2017 or after.

  • In 2021, more than $2.6 billion in health research funding came to North Carolina from external sources, such as federal agencies and nonprofits. The amount of federal health research funding in North Carolina has nearly doubled since 2017.

Thank you to our sponsors who helped make this report possible!

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