Cultural industries in Swedish statistics

This report presents a proposed definition of cultural industries and attempts to estimate the scope of these industries in terms of the number of people they employ.

The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Growth Analysis) proposes that the term of cultural industries (Swe: kulturnäringar) be used rather than creative industries (Swe: kreativa näringar). Growth Analysis thereby supports the definition proposed by UNESCO (2007) and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2008). This definition is based on a concept of culture developed from a relatively restrictive expression in the “free arts” to a more anthropological concept that describes the attitudes, traditions and other habits that distinguish one group from another. The language of culture includes signs, symbols, texts, language and objects.

Besides people employed in industries defined as cultural industries, there are people who work in “cultural professions” in other industries. In order to capture the total value production of culture, a method that combines professional classification with business segment classification has therefore been applied in the past few years in countries such as Australia. When this approach is applied, a “creative trident” is created that includes those who work in cultural industries and those with cultural professions in other industries.

Based on this definition and method approach, Growth Analysis has made an initial attempt at estimating the scope of cultural industries and the total value production of culture.

This estimate indicates that slightly more than 120,000 people are employed in cultural industries. Slightly more than 80,000 more are in cultural professions, but are active in non-cultural industries. Accordingly, there are at least 200,000 people who work with culture value production. However, these estimates are associated with a high degree of uncertainty due, among other factors, to the fact that the professional register lacks a classification for a relatively large number of employees. In order to be able to continue, based on the proposed definition and methodology, and analyse the scope and significance of the cultural industries, register data must be updated and quality assured.

Cultural industries in Swedish statistics

Serial number: Report 2009:06

Reference number: 2009/054

Download the report in Swedish Pdf, 1.7 MB.


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