Data Point / Construction Spend | Standards Michigan

Data Point / Construction Spend

Update on the build-out of these "cities-within-cities" which, when observed as a network, constitute a sovereign nation.


Data Point / Construction Spend

July 1, 2020


As reported by the US Department of Commerce Census Bureau the value of construction put in place in May 2020 by the US education industry proceeded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $87.3 billion.  This number does not include renovation for projects under 50,000 square feet and new construction in university-affiliated health care delivery enterprises).   The complete report is available at the link below:

This spend makes the US education facilities industry (which includes colleges, universities, technical/vocational and K-12 schools, most university-affiliated medical research and healthcare delivery enterprises, etc.) the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States.  For more perspective consider total public + private construction ranked according to the tabulation most recently released:

$104.156 billion  | Educational

$117.805 billion | Power

$ 83,763 billion | Commercial

$80.771 billion | Office

$44.854 billion | Healthcare

Overall — including construction, energy, custodial services, furnishings, security. etc., — the non-instructional spend plus the construction spend of the US education facilities is approximately $300 billion per year.  Cash throughput at this scale draws comparisons with the FY 2018 $247 billion annual revenue of Berkshire-Hathaway (a Fortune #2 corporation) and the $282 billion national gross domestic product of Finland.  There the comparison ends because Finland has evolved a governance structure that mediates cost of benefit with its stakeholders (citizens).   There is no analogous governance structure for the stakeholders that carry the cost of education community construction.

Construction cameras at US schools, colleges and universities

The next report will be released on July 1st (10 AM Eastern time).   We typically devote our daily 11 AM/ET teleconference to sorting through the new data set and looking for information relevant to the spend decisions by real asset leaders in the US education industry who need several “stars to steer by”.   This data point is only one of them.

We encourage the education facilities industry to contribute to the accuracy of these monthly reports by responding the US Census Bureau’s data gathering contractors.  We are “open” every day at 11 AM Eastern time for one-on-one discussion about this and other content on this site.  Click in with the login credentials at the upper right of our home page.

Reconstruction of Ancient Agora

*There are many ways of sorting through the data collected by the US Census Bureau.    Try using the interactive maps at the link below:

2016 American Community Survey (ACS) Interactive Data Map



National Center for Education Statistics

Sightlines: Capital Investment College Facilities

OxBlue: Time-Lapse Construction Cameras for Education

Architectural Billing Index

IBISWorld Education Sector

US Census Bureau Form F-33 Survey of School System Finances

American School & University


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