Study: Arts contributed $763 billion to U.S. economy in 2015

Posted on: March 9, 2018

“New data released Tuesday suggest that in a single year, the US arts and culture sector contributed a whopping $763.6 billion to the nation’s economy—more than the entire GDP of Switzerland,” writes Daniel A. Gross in Tuesday’s (3/6) (Brooklyn, N.Y.). “That translates into 4.2% of the US economy…. The figures come from 2015…. They were compiled by the nonpartisan Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). ‘What we’re seeing is steady growth,’ [said] Sunil Iyengar, the NEA’s director of research and analysis…. For the first time, the figures also include the role of specific industries in each state. Louisiana, for instance, has a movie production industry valued at $2.7 billion…. ‘If this stuff doesn’t get measured, it’s going to get forgotten,’ said Daniel Fujiwara, an economist at Simetrica…. Still, there are clear limits to what economics can say about the state of the arts. ‘I certainly don’t go to a museum because I think it generates jobs,’ Fujiwara said. Neither does Sunil Iyengar, the NEA researcher. ‘We can’t hope to measure the total value of the arts, because there’s just so many dimensions,’ he told Hyperallergic. ‘This is one way of knowing.’ ”

Posted March 9, 2018