A very comprehensive study of illegal markets. When put in absolute terms, Seattle’s sex trade economy is $120 million per year. You could buy two Boeing 737’s for that amount. Or 40 million fancy Starbucks drinks.
So next time it seems like the sex trade is something far away, check you backdoor.
“A street prostitute in Dallas may make as little as $5 per sex act. But pimps can take in $33,000 a week in Atlanta, where the sex business brings in an estimated $290 million per year. It is not nearly as lucrative in Denver, where prostitution and other elements of an underground trade are worth about $40 million.” NYT In-Depth
“Atlanta’s underground sex trade is larger than Seattle, D.C., and Denver combined. …
[C]oercion and encouragement from family members to make money [is] a bigger factor in persuading women to go into (and stay in) prostitution than physical violence.”
"If you add all the underground economies together, you’ll see the largest combined black markets (by city) are: Atlanta, Miami, San Diego, and Dallas. Across the studied cities, the largest underground market is sex, followed by drugs, then guns."