A US think-tank has predicted that, as a result of the three new states which legalised equal marriage last week, large amounts of new spending will be generated.

The Williams Institute, at the UCLA School of Law, has esitmated that 18,000 new couples will marry in the next three years in Maine, Maryland and Washington, and that this will result in at least $166 million (£104 million) worth of wedding spending.

The study indicated that, couples already living in Maine will spend $16 million (£10 million), in Maryland, $63 million (£40 million), and those in Maryland will spend $89 million (£56 million), Seattle PI reported.

These numbers only take into account people who live in those states, and does not compensate for other couples travelling in order to marry, which could further increase the figures.

Lee Badgett, research director at the Williams Institute and economics professor at the University of Massachusetts said that the additional spending will increase tax revenues, as well as creating new jobs.

A broader survey carried out by the Williams Institute in 2009 predicted that legalising equal marriage across the whole of the US could prove a lucrative move, and could boost its economy by $9.5 billion.