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NEA Research on The Arts & Economic Growth

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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NEA Research on The Arts & Economic Growth

Photo: National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Let's talk numbers. Not only are the arts a great way to engage employees and put your brand in the spotlight, but by partnering with arts organizations, your business is also helping to sustain a big contributor to the U.S. economy.

 

Arts and culture contributed $704.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013 (4.2% of GDP) according to new research from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This number represents a 32.5% growth in GDP contribution between 1998 and 2013.

 

The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the economy. In addition to the overall contribution numbers, ACPSA reveals that consumer spending on the performing arts grew 10 percent annually over the 15-year period.

 

“The new data shows that the production of performing arts services has grown at a faster clip than arts and cultural production in general, contributing $44.5 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Notably, the ACPSA reveals that Americans are choosing to spend more on performing arts events such as concerts, plays, and dance performances. This tells us that the arts remain a valuable and desirable commodity for U.S. consumers, and that the arts are a strong contributor to America’s economic vitality.”

 

According to the NEA’s news announcement, some other key findings include:

 

Culture outpaces other sectors - Over the 15-year period (1998-2013), arts and cultural production grew by $165 billion or 32.5 percent. The annual growth rate for arts and culture as a whole (1.8 percent) was on par with that of the total U.S. economy (1.9 percent). But it grew faster than other sectors such as accommodation and food services (1.4 percent), retail trade (1.3 percent), and transportation and warehousing (1.1 percent).

 

Arts employment - In 2013, arts and cultural sector employed 4.7 million wage and salary workers, earning $339 billion. Industries employing the largest number of ACPSA workers include government (including school-based arts education), retail trade, broadcasting, motion picture industries, and publishing.

 

Learn more about the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account report and results.

 

Americans for the Arts also produces a number of annual publications, e-newsletters, and reports that provide a quantitative, measurable impact of the arts in America. For example, while most economic impact studies of the arts have focused on the nonprofit sector (such as our own Arts and Economic Prosperity studies), Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries is the first national economic impact study that encompasses both the nonprofit andfor-profit arts industries. Reports for all 435 U.S. Congressional Districts, the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the 7,500 state legislative districts, and all 3,143 U.S. counties—as well as a full suite of user tools and a comprehensive list of the industries included—are available for download

 

Sign up for BCA Noteworthy, our monthly business and arts partnerships newsletter, to learn about new research and resources to help you build and promote your arts partnerships, and hear from other business leaders engaging with the arts.

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