Art industry in the US generates $763 billion a year — more than Switzerland’s GDP

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From the published data it follows that the share of the cultural sector in the US economy is 4.2%.

The National Arts Foundation and the Bureau of Economic Analysis under the US Department of Commerce published a report according to which the American industry of culture and arts generates about $763 billion a year. This is 100 billion more than Switzerland’s GDP, and approximately 8 times more than Ukraine’s GDP (according to information for 2016).

From the published data it follows that the share of the cultural sector in the US economy is 4.2% — a figure comparable to, for example, agricultural indicators. In the sphere of culture and arts almost 5 million Americans are employed, their total income is $370 billion. The report also talks about the trade surplus in this area: the US exports $20 billion more goods related to art than it imports.

As Hyperallergic writes, although many were happy with the statistics, which looks very optimistic, there were those who don’t trust it. According to Eleonora Belfiore, professor of communications and media studies, people who make such reports are interested in making the figures given there be impressive.

“An attempt to view art and culture as spheres that can be estimated in numbers can lead to the state simply stop financing initiatives that don’t have obvious monetary value,” Belfiore added.


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