The Creative Economy at the Vanguard of Economic Recovery

Updated Creative Economy State Profiles are now available, describing the value of arts and cultural production in every state prior to the global coronavirus pandemic. These data, published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (Arts Endowment), are an authoritative source for the value of the creative economy in every state.

In 2019, arts and cultural production accounted for:

  • $919.6 billion in value added to the U.S. economy
  • 4.3% of U.S. gross domestic product
  • 5.2 million jobs

The impact of the coronavirus has been especially painful for the arts and cultural sector. Data within the Creative Economy State Profiles describe the importance of arts and creativity to the American economy before the onset of the pandemic and underscore the continued significance of the arts to future economic growth.

Not only do the updated numbers show the large size of arts and cultural production, but research confirms that the arts can improve—not merely reflect—the health of the broader economy. Furthermore, this same research shows that the arts offer economic diversification and can help economies rapidly recover from economic downturns.

Data show that arts and cultural production contributes a higher dollar amount to the U.S. economy than either the construction industry or the transportation industry. Also, arts and cultural production is larger than utilities and mining combined. The businesses, organizations and artists that make up this economic powerhouse will be crucial to our nation’s recovery.

NASAA’s Creative Economy State Profiles help to make data from the BEA’s Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) more accessible and engaging. Produced in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts, this interactive dashboard explores visual information describing the creative economy in every state.

Your state’s creative economy story is unique, and this tool allows you to explore and share that story with key decision makers. Use the Creative Economy State Profiles to understand:

  • the total value of arts and cultural production in every state, as well as the nation
  • total employment and compensation associated with arts and cultural production, by state and nationally
  • profiles of the arts and culture alongside other key industry sectors in your state (mining, agriculture, construction, retail and more)
  • regional views of how your state compares to your neighbors
  • creative economy performance versus overall state economic performance over time
  • high-performing creative industries in your state

Designed to complement the Arts Endowment’s growing suite of ACPSA resources, this interactive dashboard is one of many tools available to state arts agencies and arts advocates to understand and communicate accurate data about your state’s creative economy.

Please view and explore the Creative Economy State Profiles, and don’t hesitate to contact me for help using this information in your state.

Best regards,



Ryan Stubbs
Senior Director of Research