It's a first of its kind study of sex trafficking around the United States and its findings may surprise some people living in metro Atlanta.
The report, conducted by Washington D.C.'s Urban Institute for the U.S. Justice Department, looked at the sex trade in eight major American cities and found that Atlanta topped the list.
The study looked at the cities sex trade from between 2003 and 2007.
"Atlanta went from $232 million to $290 million over that five year span," says Meredith Dank, the Institute's lead author for the report.
Dank tells WSB the $290 million that the sex trade generates annually for the metro area is "an awful lot of money."
To put it in perspective, $290 million is more than the revenue generated by metro Atlanta's illegal drug and gun trade combined.
Sex trafficking generated $290 million. Drugs accounted for $117 million, while illegal gun sales amounted to $146 million.
Atlanta's revenue also was far above any other city studied. Denver's sex trade was worth $40 million, San Diego's $97 million and Dallas' $99 million.
The only city that broke $200 million was Miami, with sex revenues of $235 million.
So why was Atlanta's sex trade worth so much?
"There are a lot of convention, a lot of events, and a lot of things happening in Atlanta," says Dank. "Convention goers have a lot of money and a lot of time. And events in Atlanta can mean escorts that charge over $1000 per hour."
In addition, Dank says, while drug dealing can be dangerous, pimping isn't always so.
"If you get caught with drugs in your car, you're caught," she says. "With pimping, if you're stopped with a person, they can lie to the police for you."
Not only is sex trafficking safer for pimps, it can also be very, very lucrative.
"One pimp we spoke with in Atlanta made, on average, about $33,000 a week," says Dank.
The report also dispelled some myths about sex trafficking.
According to Dank, 80 percent of pimps they interviewed said they have never used drugs. An equal number said they do not allow their "employees" to use drugs.
The study also found that most prostitution operations were small scale, with five or fewer workers.
The report was the first of its kind to interview pimps, prostitutes, business owners and law enforcement. It looked at the sex trade in Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Washington, Dallas, San Diego, Denver and Kansas City.