imgWashington, DC (December 10, 2013)—A new governmental report notes that arts and cultural production (ACP) was hit hard by the recession yet still contributes significantly to the GDP of the United States.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released prototype estimates from the new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). This is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the United States. According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent—or $504 billion—of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP.

For 2011, the value added from ACP accounted for nearly 3.2 percent, or $504 billion, of GDP.

Six industries accounted for 45 percent of ACP value added: motion picture and video industries, advertising services (creative content only), cable television production, TV and radio broadcasting, newspaper and magazine publishing, and the performing arts and independent artists.

Advertising (creative content only) output held the largest share of ACP with an output of $200 billion, or 20 percent of all arts and cultural commodities. The second largest share was arts education (including post-secondary fine arts schools, fine arts and performing arts departments, and academic performing arts centers) with an ACP output of $104 billion. Cable television production and distribution, with $100 billion in output, and “motion picture and video goods and services,” with $83 billion in output, had the third and fourth largest shares.

The report observes that the arts suffered more than the overall economy during the recession of 2007-2009. Between 1998 and 2006, the ratio of current-dollar value added for ACP to current-dollar GDP ranged between 3.5 and 3.7 percent. In 2007, the ratio fell to 3.3 percent of GDP, and dipped further to 3.2 percent in 2009 where it held steady through 2011.

National Endowment for the Arts

Read the news release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis