We’ve been reveling in some arts stats that came out last month: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts released new figures that paint an insightful picture of America’s creative economy. For the first time, the data reveals not just the national impact, but also break down the commercial force of the arts in each of the 50 states.
The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account tracks the yearly economic impact of arts and cultural production from 35 industries, both commercial and nonprofit. It reports on economic measures: value-added to the GDP, employment, and compensation at both the state and federal level.
In 2015-—the most recent data in the ACPSA report—the arts employed 4.9 million workers across the U.S. and contributed $763.6 billion to the national economy. That represents a nearly 40 percent growth in GDP contribution since 1998. In that same time, consumer spending on the performing arts nationwide has nearly doubled.
And now for the part you were waiting for—California’s creative industry. It’s good news. It’s very, very good news:
- The arts added $174.6 billion in value to California’s economy. That’s 7.1 percent of the state’s overall GDP, and comparable to the contributions of the construction, agriculture, and transportation industries combined.*
- Arts and culture production employed 705,506 people in California paid $80.2 billion in compensation, making up 4 percent of the state’s employment and 6 percent of the state’s compensation.
We’re sure you’re still wondering, how’d we measure up when compared to other states?
- 1st among all states in ACPSA value added
- 7th among all states in ACPSA value-added growth
- 1st among all states in ACPSA employment
- 7th among all states in ACPSA employment growth
- 1st among all states in ACPSA compensation
- 1st among all states in ACPSA compensation growth
Well done, California. We like this look on you. 😉
The numbers look slightly different than those gathered by the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California, a report supported by the California Arts Council. Dates and defining of terms and parameters vary from one report to the other. But the story told by the ACPSA numbers is the same, and one we art lovers know by heart: Art means business, and business is booming. And in California, where creativity is at the core of our identity, it’s important that we demonstrate that value—while continuing to grow our economy—by making a conscious investment in our artists.
*From the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Data Dashboard.
(Featured photo: Creative California Communities grantee Flyaway Productions.)