ABS Says Culture is Big Business
11 February 2014 at 10:40 am
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its first experimental measures of the economic contribution of cultural and creative activity in Australia, saying the results are big.
The ABS says cultural and creative activity is estimated to have contributed $86.0 billion (6.9 per cent) to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2008-09. The figures show there were 164,730 entities actively trading as a business or Not for Profit institution within the cultural and creative industries at the end of June 2009.
“This new ABS release shows cultural and creative activity is a significant component of the Australian economy, in addition to playing an important role in the wellbeing and quality of life of the community” ABS Director of Culture, Recreation and Migrant Statistics, Andrew Middleton said.
'Cultural' and 'creative' describe activities connected with the arts, media, heritage, design, fashion and information technology.
Volunteer services to arts and heritage organisations are estimated to have been worth a further $756 million in 2008-09. Volunteers are people who willingly give unpaid help to an organisation or group. This type of activity is prevalent in cultural and creative domains where people, for example, give their time unpaid as art gallery guides, as members of museum management boards, or to collect donations from the public.
The number of persons whose main employment was in a cultural or creative industry or occupation averaged 972,200 in 2008-09.
The ABS says the estimates were prepared following strong interest in the economic role of these activities, as highlighted by Australia’s National Cultural Policy: Creative Australia.
Estimates for cultural and creative activities have previously been published in other countries such as Canada, Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Further information can be found in Australian National Accounts: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts (cat. no. 5271.0), available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).