Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, U.S. and States 2015

Arts and cultural economic activity (2015)
$763.6 billion

The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that arts and cultural economic activity nationwide increased an inflation-adjusted 4.9 percent in 2015. That compares with a 0.4 percent increase in 2014 (table 1). Arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or $763.6 billion, in 2015 (table 2).

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  • Current Release: March 6, 2018
  • Next Release: March 19, 2019



Artists, performers, museums and historical sites are vying to be seen, heard and appreciated by Americans every day. Yet the economic impact of these varied arts and cultural activities, and of supporting industries that range from Hollywood studios to hand carvers of musical instruments, is easy to miss.

BEA's satellite accounts spotlight economic activity that can be difficult to find within our core accounts – in this case, the impact of arts and culture on U.S. and state economies.

This account was built by identifying, analyzing and separating out detailed data from existing BEA statistics. Pulling together the arts and cultural data in one place paints a statistical picture that's valuable to state and federal policymakers, businesses, arts organizations, analysts, economists, and others.

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National Data

Includes contribution of arts and cultural activities to the nation's GDP; the sector's rate of growth, employment, compensation and more; data by industry and commodity.

State Data

Includes the number of arts and cultural employees and their compensation, with breakdowns by industry; the relative concentration of arts and cultural activities in the state. Data is available for all 50 states and DC.

Definitions and Sources

What is arts and cultural production? The performing arts – music, dance, drama – probably come to mind first, as well as visual arts and the written word. Although culture can be defined broadly to include things like beliefs and values, this economic account focuses on creative artistic activity. It's not limited to fine arts, however. The museum category, for example, includes science and children's museums, zoos, and nature parks. Supporting industries include movie making and publishing, as well as aspects of government, including American Indian tribal councils.

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Email with comments or questions, or call Elizabeth Cologer at (301) 278-9248 or Sharon Panek at (301) 278-9228.

What is the Arts and Culture Satellite Account?

Highlights the economic impact of music groups, museums, photography, and more, including contributions to GDP, output, employment, and compensation. These data also include supporting arts industries, such as broadcasting and manufacturing.

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