A new study suggests extending marriage to same-sex couples in Montana would generate an estimated $4.5 million in spending to the state economy.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 1,348 same-sex couples live in Montana. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (674 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 431 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring about $2.9 million in revenue to the state of Montana that year.

Key findings include:
674 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Montana.

The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $4.5 million to the state and local economy of Montana over the course of three years, with a $2.9 million boost in the first year alone.

Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations would create 20 to 60 jobs in the tourism and recreation sector for the state.