An infographic conveying the top arts and cultural exports in the United States in 2014. Photo: The National Endowment of the Arts

Economic Impact of the Arts Revealed in NEA Report

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis have released a report that provides state leaders with data on the impact arts and culture has on the economy and the job market. Based on data from 2014, its research shows that cultural industries in the US have contributed $729.6 billion to the economy, and between 1998 and 2014 the contribution of arts and culture to the nation’s gross domestic product grew by 35.1 percent.

“Information from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account has been invaluable for understanding the role of arts and culture in our economy, demonstrating that the arts are indeed part of our everyday lives,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu. “Now with the new state data, state leaders have a powerful tool to assess and advance arts and culture for the benefit of all their residents.”

According to the report, between 2013 and 2014 the growth in arts and cultural workers exceeded the national rate in seventeen states, with the largest growth in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Washington. New York, Washington, Wyoming, and Hawaii had the highest concentrations of jobs in the arts. Hawaii’s twenty-three museums and seventeen zoos and botanical gardens contribute to the state’s high museum employment, which is four times the national rate.

The report’s findings come at a time when the future of the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is uncertain. President Trump proposed eliminating these organizations in his 2018 federal budget plan, which still needs to be approved by Congress.