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Culture and Creativity

Data on the cultural sector

Colourful books lined up on shelves

The EU has strong and vibrant cultural and creative industries. These are not only essential for Europe's cultural diversity, strengthening social cohesion and increasing Europe’s attractiveness internationally. They are among the continent's most dynamic sectors. According to Eurostat figures, cultural and creative industries employ 8.7 million people in the EU, equivalent to 3.8% of the total workforce in the EU, representing 1.2 million enterprises.

EU Cultural statistics

Eurostat produced over the last years an extensive database on culture. The latest available statistics can be found on Eurostat’s website: EU Cultural statistics. The ‘Guide to Eurostat culture statistics’ from 2018 summarises this work, describing the different fields of culture statistics available at EU level, as well as the methodology used for their compilation. However, there are still data missing at EU level for many indicators and sectors.

Furthermore, not all data available at Member State's level are reported to Eurostat, as they are not covered by compulsory EU statistical surveys.

Using data to develop relevant policies

Accurate statistical information on the cultural and creative sectors contributes to the Commission’s work in identifying effective measures to support these sectors and developing relevant EU policies.

Statistics are also essential to cultural and creative professionals; one of the barriers to finance is the lack of sufficient and reliable data in the sector. This lack of data limits cultural organisations’ capacity, in particular small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to secure funding from investors and institutions.

In addition to Eurostat’s regular work on cultural statistics, the European Commission has produced or commissioned several studies that contribute to delineate the complexity of cultural and creative sectors and their contribution to EU economic growth:

As part of the Music Moves Europe Preparatory Action the European Commission will also publish two studies with a specific focus on the music sector, its most recent market data and statistical gaps.

Next steps

In parallel with Eurostat's regular work on updating existing culture statistics every year, the European Commission will also look into complementary sources to fill the data gaps at EU level. By analysing specific cultural sectors – namely music, European heritage and books – and through continued cooperation with European Member States, international organisations and relevant stakeholders, the Commission aims to further identify best practices, build the evidence-base for policy, and engage with representatives from across the sector.

We are currently in the process of translating this page into other official EU languages.