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Mayor de Blasio and International Affairs Commissioner Abeywardena Announce Release of New Study Showing $3.69 Billion in Economic Output From Hosting United Nations Headquarters in NYC

December 6, 2016

UN Community in New York City helps support and sustain economic growth

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, released the United Nations Impact Report 2016 an analysis that outlines the economic costs and benefits to New York City due to the presence of the permanent headquarters of the United Nations. Using 2014 as the base year, the study presents the significant economic benefit from hosting the UN and UN Community in New York City and showcases how New York City supports this global community in its diverse metropolis.

“New York City is not only an economic and cultural capital, but a diplomatic one. We are proud to be the host city to the United Nations headquarters and the largest diplomatic community in the world. The impact of the United Nations stretches far beyond New York City, and this study reflects the city’s enduring commitment to supporting this critical global institution,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I am thrilled for my office to release this salient report which shows the concrete economic benefit – a significant $3.69 billion in total economic output to New York City from hosting the UN Community. The nearly 16,000 individuals that make-up the UN Community, representing countries across the world, adds to the vibrant diversity of our global city. The UN is much more than the sum of its economic impact – working to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today, from catalyzing action on climate change to assisting refugees. Now, more than ever, the partnership between the City of New York and the UN is of paramount importance. This study celebrates that partnership and the UN presence in New York City for seven decades,” said Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. 

The United Nations Economic Impact Report 2016 illustrates the UN Community’s role as a major employer and purchaser of local goods and services and how New York City realizes economic benefits from the UN Community by way of employment, earnings associated with those jobs, and tax revenue. It also highlights New York City’s special role as host city to the UN, specifically the investment made in supporting the UN Community.

“From increased foot traffic to local businesses from international visitors, to the impacts of household spending of UN Community employees throughout the five boroughs, the presence of the UN in New York City is helping to create and sustain additional jobs for New Yorkers. We were delighted to work with the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs to compile this analysis that shows not only what the UN brings to New York City, but also how the city supports the UN Community,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer.

“This study shows the strength of the long-standing partnership between the United Nations and New York City. The Organization brings enormous value to its host city, and UN staff members actively contribute to the communities where they live, while the City continues to support our diverse UN family. I thank Mayor de Blasio and all New Yorkers for their steadfast support. We look forward to continuing to work together towards our shared goals of global peace, harmony and prosperity for all,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Among its findings, the UN Economic Impact Report  shows that in 2014:


  • The UN Community generated $3.69 billion in total annual economic output to the City of New York's economy.
  • The UN Community employed roughly 16,000 people with estimated earnings of almost $1.64 billion. These household earnings and the operating expenses of the UN Community help to create and sustain 7,940 jobs for New Yorkers.
    • The UN issued over 30,000 accreditations for visitors attending meetings and conferences. These visitors, on average, stayed in New York City for 14 days and received an average daily expense allowance of $258. This spend supported an additional estimated 1,210 jobs in NYC.
  • In terms of direct employment, the UN, and its Agencies and Affiliates in New York City, would have been the 22nd largest employer in the New York metropolitan area.


  • New York City incurs costs by supporting the UN Community, estimated to be approximately $54 million, including costs for security and education costs for staff members enrolling their children in public schools.
  • New York City forewent an estimated $99 million in tax revenue in 2014 due to the UN Community’s tax-exempt status.

“It has been terrific to partner with the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs on innovative initiatives that integrate the UN into the fabric of this international city. I applaud the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs for releasing this timely analysis that reflects the positive return on investment from hosting this vital international institution in one of the most global cities in the world. U.S. engagement at the UN has a return on investment that goes beyond our foreign policy and security goals – we also see a tangible economic benefit at home,” said Kathy Calvin, President & CEO of the United Nations Foundation.

“For more than a century, New York has been a crossroads of trade, communication, and culture – and for seven decades, our special relationship with the UN has helped make New York a global capital,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “We’re privileged to have the world’s diplomatic community here.”

"The United Nations belongs in New York City. It belongs because of our historic commitment to building a true global community, one where we come together to advance our common welfare. The City is affirming what we in Brooklyn have long known: the UN is an unbelievable asset that has produced long-lasting benefits," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

"The United Nations and New York City have a symbiotic relationship. An important international organization deserves an international city. And this analysis shows just how much an economic powerhouse the UN is for our City, and we are glad they are here," said Council Member Dan Garodnick, Chair of Council Committee on Economic Development.
In 1946, New York City competed with cities across the globe to host the permanent headquarters of the United Nations. In 2016, the de Blasio Administration, through its continued support for the United Nations and UN Community, champions multilateral efforts to find lasting solutions to some of the most complex and pressing challenges in the world.   

The full report can be accessed on the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs website and additional information on data sources and methodology can be accessed by visiting

About the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs
The New York City Mayor's Office for International Affairs works to foster positive relations and encourage collaboration between the international community and New York City's agencies and local neighborhoods. The Office is focused on sharing New York City's policies and best practices globally, as well as responding to requests from foreign governments, the United Nations, and the U.S. Department of State. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and on our website.

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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