Report: The Arts Have Greater Economic Impact Than Agriculture Or Transportation

Apr 28, 2017


For the first time, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce have released arts industry data for individual states.

The numbers show publicly-funded arts programs account for more than four percent of the U-S economy. Phil de Oliveira of member station WSKU in Kent reports.

The new report looks at 35 industries that make up the arts and cultural sector of the U.S. economy.


The latest numbers are from 20-14, when Ohio was one of the top ten arts and culture employers in the nation. It was also one of the top employers in industrial design. That includes automobile and furniture design services.

Ohio ranked tenth in terms of compensation.


N-E-A Research Director Sunil Iyengar says having numbers for each state can help inform future decisions about arts funding.


IYENGAR (0:15) “Getting it down to the state level will allow local policymakers, local funders, local decision-makers to ascribe more value to the arts in their communities, but also to understand which trends to monitor over time to enable a healthy and vital arts ecosystem.”


Iyengar says arts and culture jobs contributed more to the U.S. economy than either transportation or agriculture. He also notes the data did not include freelance or self-employed artists.