Americans for the Arts Unveils More Than 11,000 Individual Reports on Nation’s Creative Industries

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A new research study published by Americans for the Arts uses statistical data to quantify the scope and economic importance of the arts across America. Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts in 2017 demonstrates that nationally, 673,656 businesses are involved in the creation or distribution of the arts, and they employ 3.48 million people. This represents 4.01 percent of all U.S. businesses and 2.04 percent of all U.S. employees. 
The Creative Industries are defined as arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters, to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. The findings are based on an analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data from more than 11,000 unique political and geographic regions in the United States. 
“Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America's competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “The Creative Industries reports should be in every legislator’s office and every city hall, reminding community leaders that the arts are key drivers of the local economy, major employers, and improve the quality of life through their work. The Creative Industries say one thing loud and clear: the arts mean business.”
The Creative Industries study was developed in 2004 by Americans for the Arts. Reports for all 435 U.S. Congressional Districts, the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the 6,766 state legislative districts, and all 3,141 U.S. counties—as well as a full suite of user tools and a comprehensive list of the industries included in this analysis—are available for download at
Americans for the Arts thanks The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for their generous support of our work to produce the Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at