Accounting for the Nation's Arts and Cultural Goods and Services (1998-2012)

Posted December 2013

The 2014 Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) replaced the first, 2013 iteration of the ACPSA. NEA Arts Data Profile #2 remains here as a historical record.

For revised estimates of the arts and culture's contributions to the U.S. economy, users are directed to NEA Arts Data Profile #6: The 2014 Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account: Years 1998-2012.

Title of Dataset

Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA)


Two-year project: results from the first wave, 2013, are presented here; the second wave is planned for 2014.


Partnership between the NEA's Office of Research & Analysis and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Research Topic

Arts and the GDP

Notable Features

  • The first comprehensive and detailed measure of the arts and culture's contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Full time series spanning 1998-2011.
  • Production by detailed arts and cultural commodities (i.e., goods and services).
  • Employment and compensation by arts and cultural industries, including sole proprietors (i.e., self-employed workers).
  • Supply and consumption of arts and cultural goods and services, including imports and exports.
  • Multipliers measuring the effect on the U.S. economy from changes in the demand for arts and culture.


In 2011, the production of arts and cultural goods and services
contributed $504.4 billion to the U.S. economy. This amounted to 3.25
percent of GDP.

  • In output, the top arts and cultural
    commodities included: the creative content of advertising ($199.6
    billion); arts education ($104 billion); motion picture and video
    merchandise and services ($82.2 billion); and performing arts and
    independent artists and writers ($48.9 billion).

In that same year, the U.S. posted a $10.5 billion trade surplus in arts and
cultural commodities—with arts and cultural exports of $39.4 billion
exceeding imports of $28.9 billion.