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Economics of cultural activity

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its first experimental measures of the economic contribution of cultural and creative activity in Australia.

The publication entitled Australian National Accounts: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts, Experimental, 2008-09 demonstrates that cultural and creative activity is estimated to have contributed $86.0 billion (6.9%) to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2008-09.

The release shows cultural and creative activity, including that of the museums, galleries and arts sectors, is a significant component of the Australian economy, in addition to playing an important role in the well-being and quality of life of the community. The report also found that:

  • Volunteer services to arts and heritage organisations are estimated to have been worth a further $756 million in 2008-09
  • The number of persons whose main employment was in a cultural or creative industry or occupation averaged 972,200 in 2008-09.
  • There were 164,730 entities actively trading as a business or non-profit institution within the cultural and creative industries at the end of June 2009.