LGBTQ+ people bring creativity, innovation, and joy to the communities we work and live in.
In light of recent legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ equality, we wanted to uplift some studies from the last few years that show the size and scale of our positive impact – and the potential cost local economies will face in light of these discriminatory policies.
On average, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to have higher levels of education, and start businesses at a higher rate than their peers. Queer people don’t just have a positive impact on our communities, but our whole state’s economy.
- A 2023 study found that states with a higher representation of LGBTQ+ people had a higher GSP (real gross state product) than those without as many LGBTQ+ folks. In fact, LGBTQ+ people are overrepresented among entrepreneurs nationwide. (Wells Fargo)
Businesses don’t want to work in anti-LGBTQ+ states, and sports teams and musicians are less likely to perform there. All of this harms local economies, resulting in less money for schools, roads, and social services.
- HB 2, the 2016 “Bathroom Bill,” was estimated to cost NC more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years. North Carolinians have also missed out on more than 2,900 direct jobs from companies like Adidas and PayPal that went elsewhere to avoid the law. (CNBC)
- HB 2 also caused a number of concerts and events to be cancelled in protest. North Carolinians were denied the opportunity to see musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, and Ringo Starr close to home because of this law. (The Guardian)
LGBTQ+ people are more likely to consider moving to states that welcome LGBTQ+ people. Discriminatory policies have consequences for all us by separating families and reducing the vibrant diversity of states with these laws.
- A May 2023 Data for Progress survey of more than 1,000 LGBTQ adults in the U.S. showed that 27% of LGBTQ adults have considered leaving their state because of anti-LGBTQ legislation, particularly transgender people at 43%. (NC Newsline)
This is just a small snapshot of the economic benefits states gain by being inclusive to LGBTQ+ people. When LGBTQ+ equality is protected and respected, everyone wins.