Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Illinois
By Angeliki Kastanis, M.V. Lee Badgett
Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Illinois would generate up to $103 million in spending to the state and local economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 23,049 same-sex couples live in Illinois. Of those couples, the report estimates that 50% (11,525 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Of the couples that will marry, 64% of those marriages will occur during the first year, 21% in the second year and 15% in the third year.
In the first three years of extending marriage to same-sex couples, the study estimates that the state’s wedding business would see an increase by $74 million, and an increase of $29 million in tourism expenditures made by out-of-town guests over the same period; total state and local tax revenue would rise by $8.5 million, including an estimated $1-2 million in local sales taxes. The first year would produce $5.4 million of this spending; the boost in wedding spending will generate approximately 281 jobs in the state.