New Data Show Economic Activity of the U.S. Arts & Cultural Sector in 2021

From National Endowment for the Arts –

Data released today by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) demonstrate the significant contribution of the arts and cultural industries to U.S. GDP in 2021 while also underscoring the continued impact of the pandemic on the sector. The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) tracks the annual economic value of arts and cultural production from 35 industries—including both commercial and nonprofit entities. The 2021 data pinpoint the national and state-level contributions of the arts and cultural sector to the nation’s economy after the first year of COVID-19.

Analysis shows that several core arts industries did not return to pre-pandemic production levels in 2021. This group includes independent artists (as an industry), performing arts organizations (e.g., theater, dance, and opera companies, music groups; and circuses), and arts-related construction, among many others. Despite setbacks for those industries, the overall arts economy in 2021 represented 4.4 percent of GDP, or just over $1.0 trillion—a new high-water mark.

Learn more about the national and state-level economic contributions of the arts in the report: