Economic Impact of Astronomy in Hawai‘i: 2019 Update

Carl Bonham, Steven Bond-Smith, Kimberly Burnett, Christopher Wada, Economy, Reports

Astronomy continues to be a sizable and stabilizing source of economic activity. In 2019, local astronomy related expenditures in the state totaled $110.02 million with $57.18 million, $35.22 million, $0.28 million, and $17.33 million spent in Hawai‘i, Honolulu, Kaua‘i, and Maui counties respectively. Including indirect and induced benefits and adjusting for inter-county feedback effects, the astronomy sector had a total impact on the output of goods and services in the state of $220.95 million. Astronomy activities also generated $68.05 million in labor income, $10.10 million in state taxes, and 1,313 jobs statewide. The astronomy industry also generates knowledge, expertise, and technology benefits for the wider economy, beyond the direct, indirect, and induced impacts accounted for by the standard economic impact methods. These additional impacts are described as spillovers and underpin the case for public investment in research.