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Times Square's economic impact rivals Portland

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A new study shows that Times Square accounts for $110 billion in economic activity.

No, the headline isn't referring to the smaller of the Portlands (Portland, Maine). You read that right, Times Square's economic impact is similar to that of Portland, Ore. and other mid-sized cities, like Pittsburgh.

That's according to a new study commissioned by Times Square Alliance -- essentially the chamber of commerce for the district -- and conducted by HR&A Advisors that aims to show the economic impact of Times Square in New York.

The resulting study isn't short on incredible statistics. Here's a sample:

  • Times Square takes up only 0.1 percent of the total land area in New York City but accounts for $110 billion in economic activity.
  • The district generates 11 percent of the city's economic output and 10 percent of the city's employment.
  • Times Square’s economic output over the past four years outpaced that of the city by double digits (22 percent vs. 9 percent)
  • 170,000 people work in the district and it supports about 215,000 other jobs throughout the city.
  • Times Square contributes $4.6 billion in New York State and New York City taxes, annually; enough to fund the Parks Department budget, seven times over.

Times Square is certainly an iconic district in the city, but that alone isn't enough to capture the value potential that can come from being a central, well-known destination. So what accounts for the success of Times Square? Diversity.

“Times Square’s success through tough economic times is due largely to our diversified economy, helping us to stay strong and grow jobs across an array of sectors,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance in a statement. “While finance, insurance, and banking markets contracted, slowing the City’s economy overall, the growth in areas like entertainment, hospitality and tourism reminds us of the value of investing in the travel and tourism sectors.”

Go here for more statistics on Times Square's economic impact and here for the full report.

Photo: Stuck in Customs/Flickr

[Via New York Times]

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure