Same-Sex Marriage Could Boost Wedding Industry by $2.5 Billion

Same-Sex Marriage Could Boost Wedding Industry by $2.5 Billion

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8860782648_e1d26d82f3_weddingBy  for NerdWallet

In a landmark decision Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states. The 5-4 decision was celebrated by many nationwide, including President Barack Obama, who tweeted that it was a “big step in our march toward equality.”

The newly expanded marriage rights provide a tremendous economic opportunity for the $51 billion wedding industry, which currently employs over 800,000 people nationwide. Excluding increases in federal tax revenue or transfer payments, gay marriage in all 50 states has the potential to add $2.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy, according to a NerdWallet analysis.

By calculating consumer spending on weddings, average marriage rates, as well as the self-identified gay and lesbian population, NerdWallet determined the potential revenue from gay marriage in each state. For example, our study found that California’s economy stands to gain as much as $414 million.

Scroll over a state in the map below to see the total projected revenue. Click here for the full data.

How this analysis is different

Many states where same-sex marriage was first legalized have seen an economic boost as couples planned their unions. But this increase doesn’t predict future spending because marriage rates for the first couple of years after legalization are inflated due to pent-up demand.

Additionally, many of the initial marriages were planned quickly and performed at a courthouse. When same-sex marriage has been legal for several years, our assumption is couples will have more time to plan their weddings, and thus spend more money on their big day.

NerdWallet’s analysis looks at the long-term demand and the average cost of a same-sex wedding in each state.

Same-sex marriage and federal spending

NerdWallet’s analysis doesn’t factor in tax implications or the changes in federal spending with the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.

See this story for details about what the court’s decision means for your finances.

Recognition of same-sex marriages across the country will boost federal revenue through income and estate taxes. For example, legalization will slightly increase federal tax revenue, estimated to be about 0.1% of total federal revenue, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

More on the methodology

NerdWallet multiplied the population of each state by the percentage that identifies as LGBT, and then multiplied that by the state’s marriage rate and the average cost of a wedding.

LGBT population by state: NerdWallet assessed the LGBT population by state through Gallup’s poll of residents who self-identify as LGBT – but this identification is likely an underestimate.

Marriage rate by state: NerdWallet obtained state marriage rates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data figures the number of marriages for 1,000 women, which is the number of marriages per 2,000 residents. We used this to calculate marriage rate as a percentage.

Cost of a wedding by state: NerdWallet obtained data from The Wedding Report on average wedding costs by county. They looked at the 765 largest counties in the U.S. by population and weighted county wedding cost estimates by population to determine the estimated average cost of a wedding by state. For states that have boroughs or parishes instead of counties – Alaska and Louisiana – we used cost estimates from the largest borough in the state.

NerdWallet assumed that the rate of same-sex marriage is the same as the rate for all couples in every state.

Economic impact of same-sex marriage

State Percentage of population that identifies as LGBT Marriage rate by state Population Estimated gay marriages in state Average cost of wedding Total added
to state economy
Alabama 2.8% 0.8% 4,833,722 1,137 $22,446 $25,518,251
Alaska 3.4% 1.0% 735,132 242 $37,021 $8,975,613
Arizona 3.9% 0.8% 6,626,624 2,119 $25,332 $53,682,762
Arkansas 3.5% 1.0% 2,959,373 1,082 $22,364 $24,206,963
California 4.0% 0.8% 38,332,521 12,420 $33,362 $414,343,588
Colorado 3.2% 1.1% 5,268,367 1,854 $27,504 $51,004,525
Connecticut 3.4% 0.7% 3,596,080 886 $35,108 $31,120,903
Delaware 3.4% 0.9% 925,749 269 $27,700 $7,454,500
Florida 3.5% 0.7% 19,552,860 4,859 $24,254 $117,848,604
Georgia 3.5% 0.9% 9,992,167 3,008 $26,007 $78,221,168
Hawaii 5.1% 1.0% 1,404,054 723 $36,802 $26,615,971
Idaho 2.7% 1.0% 1,612,136 424 $22,947 $9,738,665
Illinois 3.8% 0.7% 12,882,135 3,647 $27,834 $101,507,822
Indiana 3.7% 0.9% 6,570,902 2,225 $23,834 $53,020,197
Iowa 2.8% 0.8% 3,090,416 723 $23,618 $17,065,139
Kansas 3.7% 1.0% 2,893,957 1,071 $25,050 $26,822,402
Kentucky 3.9% 0.9% 4,395,295 1,620 $22,614 $36,631,353
Louisiana 3.2% 0.7% 4,625,470 1,081 $23,776 $25,690,201
Maine 4.8% 0.9% 1,328,302 545 $25,419 $13,857,054
Maryland 3.3% 0.8% 5,928,814 1,507 $34,995 $52,720,973
Massachusetts 4.4% 0.7% 6,692,824 2,076 $32,910 $68,325,643
Michigan 3.8% 0.7% 9,895,622 2,707 $24,688 $66,841,724
Minnesota 2.9% 0.9% 5,420,380 1,368 $28,265 $38,654,438
Mississippi 2.6% 0.9% 2,991,207 704 $22,053 $15,521,435
Missouri 3.3% 0.9% 6,044,171 1,735 $22,343 $38,770,609
Montana 2.6% 0.9% 1,015,165 240 $22,492 $5,402,357
Nebraska 2.7% 0.9% 1,868,516 462 $24,486 $11,303,318
Nevada 4.2% 0.9% 2,790,136 1,096 $26,863 $29,433,590
New Hampshire 3.7% 0.8% 1,323,459 370 $32,611 $12,056,458
New Jersey 3.7% 0.7% 8,899,339 2,190 $36,745 $80,459,374
New Mexico 2.9% 0.9% 2,085,287 541 $23,017 $12,457,797
New York 3.8% 0.7% 19,651,127 5,041 $32,421 $163,416,946
North Carolina 3.3% 0.9% 9,848,060 2,762 $24,189 $66,818,175
North Dakota 1.7% 1.2% 723,393 149 $22,709 $3,379,159
Ohio 3.6% 0.8% 11,570,808 3,207 $23,883 $76,602,435
Oklahoma 3.4% 1.1% 3,850,568 1,420 $23,112 $32,829,754
Oregon 4.9% 0.8% 3,930,065 1,550 $27,064 $41,955,325
Pennsylvania 2.7% 0.7% 12,773,801 2,500 $27,614 $69,047,046
Rhode Island 4.5% 0.7% 1,051,511 319 $28,809 $9,201,548
South Carolina 2.9% 0.8% 4,774,839 1,115 $22,869 $25,491,992
South Dakota 4.4% 1.2% 844,877 431 $22,790 $9,827,515
Tennessee 2.6% 0.9% 6,495,978 1,495 $23,202 $34,680,751
Texas 3.3% 1.0% 26,448,193 8,379 $25,972 $217,610,296
Utah 2.7% 1.3% 2,900,872 991 $25,950 $25,711,188
Vermont 4.9% 0.8% 626,630 247 $30,585 $7,559,823
Virginia 2.9% 0.9% 8,260,405 2,072 $34,990 $72,503,281
Washington 4.0% 1.0% 6,971,406 2,747 $30,076 $82,610,754
West Virginia 3.1% 0.8% 1,854,304 445 $20,960 $9,337,566
Wisconsin 2.8% 0.7% 5,742,713 1,182 $25,313 $29,915,850
Wyoming 2.9% 1.0% 582,658 164 $24,309 $3,984,315
Total economic impact $2,537,757,118

 

Photo by lindsmae

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