Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Missouri would generate an estimated $36.3 million in spending to the state economy, according to a new study authored by The Williams Institute’s Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett; Williams Gleason Kettel Summer Fellow, Justin M. O’Neill; and Williams Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory.
“This study confirms that all Missourians benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said Badgett.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 10,557 same-sex couples live in Missouri. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (5,279 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 3,379 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring over $23 million in revenue to the state of Missouri that year.
Key findings include:
- That 5,279 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Missouri.
- The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $36.3 million to the state and local economy of Missouri over the course of three years, with a $23.2 million boost in the first year alone.
- This economic boost would add $2.75 million in sales tax revenue to state and local coffers.
- Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations would create312 to 936 jobs in the tourism and recreation sector for the state
Analyses are informed by the methodology that the Williams Institute has used in previous studies of the economic impact of marriage in a number of other states. State-level data, 2010 Census data, and American Community Survey data were all used to estimate the economic impact of extending marriage to same-sex couples in Missouri. Estimates do not take into account the impact of same-sex couples from other states who will travel to Missouri to marry.
“Study after study has demonstrated that, in addition to significant revenue, marriage for same-sex couples also creates new jobs,” noted Mallory.
The full study is available here.
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