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Arizona: Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples Could Add Over $61.9 Million to State Economy

The Williams InstituteLOS ANGELES — Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Arizona would generate an estimated $61.9 million in spending to the state economy, according to a new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett; Williams Public Policy Fellow, E.G. Fitzgerald; and Williams Institute Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory.

“This study confirms that all Arizonans benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said Badgett.

According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 15,817 same-sex couples live in Arizona. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (7,909 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 5,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $39 million in revenue to the state of Arizona that year.

Key findings include:
• 7,909 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Arizona.
• The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $61.9 million to the state and local economy of Arizona over the course of three years, with a $39.6 million boost in the first year alone.
• This economic boost would add $5.1 million in sales tax revenue to the state coffer.
• Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could generate up to 517 full- and part-time jobs in 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 Arizona. Estimates do not take into account the impact of same-sex couples from other states who will travel to Arizona to marry.

“Study after study has demonstrated that, in addition to significant revenue, marriage for same-sex couples also creates new jobs,” noted Mallory.

Click here for full study.



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