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The Arts Contribute More Than $760 Billion to the U.S. Economy

Nashville Opera, photo by Reed Hummell
Nashville Opera, photo by Reed Hummell

New Findings Released on Economic Impact of Arts

From Victoria Hutter, Assistant Director, Press/Public Affairs, NEA –

New data released on March 6, 2018, by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers an insightful picture of the impact nonprofit and for-profit arts have on the nation’s and, for the first time, the states’ economies. According to the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), Tennessee’s arts industries contribute $12.3 billion to the state’s economy, employing 83,305 who earned $5.2 billion. A data dashboard produced by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies provides more detail through its Creative Economy State Profiles.

The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing. The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of more than $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.

“The robust data present in the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account show through hard evidence how and where arts and culture contribute value to the economies of communities throughout the nation,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The data confirm that the arts play a meaningful role in our daily lives, including through the jobs we have, the products we purchase, and the experiences we share.”

Produced by the BEA and NEA, the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account tracks the annual economic impact of arts and cultural production from 35 industries, both commercial and non-profit. The ACPSA reports on economic measures—value-added to gross domestic product (GDP) as well as employment and compensation—at the national and state levels. The numbers in this report are from 2015, the most recent reporting year. Nationally, the arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing and employ 4.9 million workers across the country.

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