Culture statistics - cultural enterprises


Data extracted in August 2018

Planned article update: April 2020

Highlights

In 2016, there were 1.2 million cultural enterprises in the EU, generating €193 billion of value added.

In 2016, in terms of number of enterprises, ‘architecture, design and photography’ dominated the cultural business landscape.

In 2016, 80 % of people employed in cultural business in the EU worked in small or medium-sized enterprises.

Number of cultural enterprises as % of total business economy, EU-28, 2016

This article presents an overview of statistics on enterprises in cultural sectors in the European Union (EU). Eurostat compiles these data from two distinct sources: Structural Business Statistics (SBS) and Business Demography (BD). Both sources cover only market-oriented activities; entities largely subsidised by public authorities (e.g. libraries, museums, etc.) are not included.


Full article

Cultural sectors covered by EU business statistics

Indicators presented in this article refer to the extended scope of cultural sectors, agreed in 2018 by the Eurostat Working group on Culture statistics. The coverage includes in addition industry-related economic activities (NACE Rev. 2 codes C18 ‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’, C3212 ‘Manufacture of jewellery and related articles’ and C322 ‘Manufacture of musical instruments’) and retail trade in cultural goods in specialised stores (codes G4761 ‘Retail sale of books’, G4762 ‘Retail sale of newspapers and stationery’ and G4763 ‘Retail sale of music and video recordings’). 7Depending on the data source used (SBS or BD), some NACE codes may not be available - please refer to Table 1.


Table 1: Cultural sectors covered by EU business statistics
Source: Eurostat


SBS data : number of cultural enterprises, value added and turnover

Structural Business Statistics make it possible to report statistics such as number of enterprises, turnover, value added, etc. by NACE economic activity and/or by enterprise size. This section presents data for a total culture aggregate (sum of all available NACE codes considered as cultural) and trends over time, as well as some analysis of statistics by size class, focusing on SMEs.

In 2016, 1.2 million cultural enterprises in the EU generated EUR 193 billion of value added

In the EU overall, in 2016, more than 1.2 million market-oriented businesses were recorded as belonging to a cultural sector as identified in SBS data (i.e. NACE divisions 90 and 91 not included). Representing 5 % of all enterprises in the non-financial business economy (NACE divisions B to N except K, and S95), cultural businesses accounted for EUR 193 billion, representing 2.7 % of total value added in the EU (Table 2). For the sake of comparison, this figure was higher than for wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE G45, EUR 173 billion) and almost equal to manufacture of food products (NACE C10, EUR 194 billion). The cultural sector’s turnover (the total value of market sales of goods and services) was EUR 466 billion, which represented 1.7 % of the total turnover of the non-financial business economy.

Italy counted by far the highest number of cultural enterprises (179 000), with France following (165 000). Together, they made up almost 30 % of all cultural enterprises in the EU. In addition, three Member States had more than 100 000 cultural enterprises: Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. These five countries represented more than half of the total number of cultural enterprises in the EU. Regarding the share of cultural enterprises in all enterprises in the non-financial business economy at country level, the Netherlands (7.6 %), Sweden (7.5 %) and Belgium and Slovenia (both 6.5 %) were the most prominent, while of the five mentioned above only Germany and the United Kingdom exceeded the 5 %.

As for the turnover generated by cultural enterprises, only Croatia, Cyprus, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom (among countries with available data) displayed shares slightly above the EU average of 1.7 %, with Cyprus and the United Kingdom recording 3 %. Cyprus’ performance was due to recent and steady growth in computer games publishing, while for the United Kingdom this relatively high rate was due to a quite significant contribution from motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities. Analysed in terms of the contribution to the EU total turnover, the United Kingdom and Germany had a contribution over 20 % each and combined they covered almost half of the total turnover of EU cultural businesses (with less than 20 % of all EU cultural enterprises).

Value added at factor cost is gross income from operating activities after adjusting for operating subsidies and indirect taxes. Value adjustments (such as depreciation) are not subtracted. In the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden, the share of value added for cultural enterprises in total non-financial business economy exceeded or was similar to the EU average of 2.7 %. The United Kingdom, with an outstanding 4 % share, accounted for almost 30 % of the total value added generated by all EU cultural enterprises. By contrast, the weights of cultural businesses in national value added was fairly low (less than 2 %) in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.


Table 2: Key indicators on cultural enterprises and those in total business economy, 2016
Values in italics: please refer to metadata
Source: Eurostat (cult_ent_num) and (cult_ent_val)


In years 2011-2016, economic trends in the cultural sector varied greatly across countries

Table 3 shows how cultural enterprises and the total non-financial economy performed in terms of the number of enterprises and value added in the period from 2011 to 2016. The trends are shown through the (compound) annual average growth rate (AAGR). At EU level, the number of cultural enterprises grew at the same pace as in the total non-financial business economy (up 2 % a year on average).

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of cultural enterprises was stable in six EU countries (out of 24 for which data are available), where the variation did not exceed 1 % a year on average. In another 18 Member States, the number of cultural enterprises rose by more than 1 % a year, with an increase over 10 % in the Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania.

The only country in which the number of cultural enterprises fell by more than 2 % a year (6.9 %) was Greece (however, those results should be treated with caution due to a break in series in 2015).

At EU-level, in terms of value added, the growth of cultural enterprises is slower than that observed in terms of number of enterprises (AAGR 1.2 % versus 2.0 %) and in the cultural sector lower than in the whole non-financial business economy (1.2 % against 3.0 %). A positive trend in the value added of cultural enterprises is most visible in Latvia (AAGR of 8.5 %), Lithuania (6.4 %) and the United Kingdom (6.7 %), while a negative trend is most notable in Greece (-16.7 %) and Hungary (-7.0 %).


Table 3: Trends in number of enterprises and value added, 2011-2016 (Compound Annual Growth Rate, %)
Values in italics: please refer to metadata
Source: Eurostat (cult_ent_num) and (cult_ent_val) and (sbs_na_sca_r2)


Comparison with the total non-financial business economy shows that in many cases there are structural and cyclical reasons of trends observed for cultural enterprises (i.e. their figures are in line with the figures for the total economy: see Table 3). There are still some cases, especially regarding value added, for which, in general, the total economy performs better than the cultural sector. Latvia, the United Kingdom and Sweden are the countries where, in terms of value added, cultural sector performed particularly well, growing at a higher pace than the economy as a whole. Conversely, some countries’ trends in cultural value added were lower than one would expect from the overall economic figures. This was particularly the case in Hungary (down in culture by 7 % annually despite the growth in total economy by 3.1 %) and Romania (cultural value added 2.2 % lower, against overall growth of 4.6 %)


In terms of number of enterprises, ‘architecture, design and photography’ dominated the cultural business landscape

For the sake of clarity, the cultural NACE codes are aggregated here into the following broad groups of cultural activities:

  • industry-related cultural activities: printing and reproduction of recorded media, manufacture of musical instruments and jewellery (C18+C3212+C322) ;
  • retail sale of cultural goods in specialised stores (G4761+G4762+G4763) ;
  • publishing activities (books, newspapers and periodicals, computer games) (J5811+J5813+J5814+J5821) ;
  • motion picture and television, music, renting of video tapes and disks (J59+ N7722) ;
  • programming and broadcasting, and news agency activities (J60+J6391) ;
  • architecture, design and photography (M7111+M741+M742) ;
  • translation and interpretation activities (M743).


SBS data are available for all the cultural sectors except NACE divisions 90 and 91. Bearing that in mind, at EU level, in terms of the number of enterprises (Figure 1), in 2016, more than half of cultural enterprises (52 %) were in the broad group ‘architecture, design and photography’ (‘architecture’ alone accounted for 25 % of all cultural enterprises). Only two additional broad groups exceeded 10 % of the EU total: ‘motion picture and television, music, renting of video tapes and disks’ (13 %) and ‘printing and reproduction of recorded media, manufacture of musical instruments and jewellery’ (12 %). The categories at the lower end were ‘publishing activities’ (5 % of cultural enterprises) and the small group ‘programming and broadcasting, including news agency activities’ (2 %).


Figure 1: Number of EU cultural enterprises by broad group of activities, 2016 (%)
Source: Eurostat (cult_ent_num)


By contrast, in terms of value added (Figure 2), most cultural broad groups accounted for similar shares of the EU total (around 20 %). The exceptions were ‘retail sales in specialised sectors’ contributing by 4 % and ‘translation and interpretation’ activities (2015 data) generating 2 % of cultural value added.


Figure 2: Value added of EU cultural enterprises, by broad group of activities, 2016 (%)
Source: Eurostat (cult_ent_val)


At national level (among countries with available data), ‘architecture, design and photography’ accounted for the highest number of cultural enterprises in all Member States. In a great number of countries, this sector represented 50 % and more of total cultural businesses. However, in some countries such as Bulgaria, Czechia and Hungary, it counted barely one third of cultural enterprises (Table 4). The picture is quite varied when it comes to the second biggest group of cultural economic activities: ‘motion picture and television, music, renting of video tapes and disks’ was in second position in ten countries with a 26 % share in the United Kingdom and 24 % in Sweden. ‘Manufacture and printing’ activities ranked second in another six countries (however remaining ex-aequo with two other sectors in two countries). Croatia recorded the highest share of 24 %. ‘Translation and interpretation activities’, accounting for 8 % of cultural enterprises at EU level, was the second biggest cultural sector in four countries but scored quite significant proportions in Lithuania (28 %), Latvia (26 %) and Czechia (24 %) . By contrast, enterprises involved in publishing, accounting for 5 % at EU level and ranking 6th, represented relatively high shares of 10 % of cultural enterprises in Croatia and Romania. Regarding programming and broadcasting activities (only 2 % at EU level), Hungary recorded a share of 7 %, followed by Slovenia with 5 %. The importance of specialist stores varied hugely across Member States. In several countries, they were the least represented group of cultural enterprises (Czechia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia) By contrast, in some countries they were the second largest group (Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal).


Table 4: Number of enterprises in broad cultural groups, 2016 (% of total culture)
Values in italics: please refer to metadata
Source: Eurostat (cult_ent_num)


Turning to value added (Table 5), the nationally dominant groups of cultural enterprises varied more across countries than for the number of enterprises. 'Architecture, design and photography' ranked as the highest performing group of cultural activities at EU level and in seven countries, of which Slovakia, Austria, Sweden and Denmark reached almost one third of the total cultural value added share. On the other hand, this group reached only of maximum 15 % in Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland. ‘Manufacturing and printing’ accounted for the highest share of value added in eight EU countries, with at least 30 % in Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Latvia and Slovenia but with only 12 % in Denmark and the United Kingdom. While publishing was the second highest performing group of cultural activities at EU level, it outperformed the other groups in Cyprus and, most notable, in Finland where it accounted for 37 % of the cultural sector’s value added. France and the United Kingdom were the only countries where ‘Motion picture and television, music, renting of video tapes and disks' contributed most to their national cultural value added (around 25 %). ‘Programming and broadcasting, and news agency activities’ had the highest share of cultural value added in Romania (41 %) and Greece (35 %)


Table 5: Value added in broad cultural groups of activities, 2016 (in million euros and % of total culture)
Values in italics: please refer to metadata
Source: Eurostat (cult_ent_val)


Does the size of cultural enterprises matter?

Table 6 shows some key economic indicators by size of cultural enterprise (defined by the number of persons employed), for available NACE categories in the cultural sector, at EU level, for 2016. This makes it possible to focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are predominant in cultural sectors. SMEs are regarded as essential to the European economy, driving job creation and economic growth. As such, they are a major focus of EU policy.

Micro-enterprises (employing 1 to 9 persons) were in all cases the most common type of enterprise (in the total business economy they accounted for 94 % of all enterprises). Two NACE categories had the lowest shares: the industry-related category ‘printing and reproduction of recorded media’ (89 % of micro-enterprises) and businesses involved in ‘programming and broadcasting activities’ (85 %).

Cultural SMEs still play an important role in creating employment: in all, about 80 % of people employed in the NACE cultural categories considered here worked in an SME, while SMEs accounted for two out of every three jobs in the total business economy. This is particularly true for ‘specialised design’ and ‘photography’ enterprises, where a large proportion of workers were employed in micro-enterprises (75 % and 83 % respectively, well above the 29 % share recorded for the total economy).

In programming and broadcasting, large businesses (employing 250 persons and over) accounted for two thirds of people working in that group, which is twice as much as in the total non-financial business economy (33 %). As a result, large programming and broadcasting enterprises accounted for 78 % of value added in this sector (while in the whole economy large enterprises produced 44 % of the total value added).


Table 6: Key size-class indicators for enterprises in selected cultural sectors, EU-28, 2016
Source: Eurostat (sbs_sc_sca_r2) and (sbs_sc_1b_se_r2)


BD data : dynamics of cultural enterprises

Business demography statistics use indicators such as enterprise birth and death rates to allow analysis of the dynamics of a sector in terms of job creation and sustainability of enterprises in the form of enterprise survival rates. These statistics cover only some of the cultural sectors presented in the first part of this article, but they include market-oriented enterprises in two NACE divisions not covered by SBS: ‘Creative, arts and entertainment activities’ (NACE R90) and ‘Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities’ (NACE R91, hereafter referred to as ‘libraries and museums’) (see Table 1).

Job creation

Newly started enterprises have an impact on the labour market, and particularly on job creation. In 2016, among the cultural sectors, this was especially the case for ‘specialised design activities’ and ‘creative, arts and entertainment activities’ (see Figure 3).

New enterprises accounted for nearly 10 % of employment in ‘specialised design activities’ across the EU in 2016, well above the 3.1 % average for total services. This was true for all Member States, with Hungary ranking top (new enterprises there accounted for almost one quarter of jobs in specialised design).

‘Creative, arts and entertainment activities’ was the other cultural sector with significant job creation: the percentage of employment in new enterprises in this sector exceeded that for total services in all Member States, most notable in Malta (25.7 %, against 5.5 % in total services) and Lithuania (20.3 %, against 3.6 %). In four further countries new businesses accounted for over 15 % of the workforce in one year: Portugal (16.4 %), Latvia (16.3 %), Romania (16.2 %) and Slovakia (15.6 %).


Figure 3: Employment in newly born enterprises in 'specialised design' and 'creative, arts and entertainment' activities, 2016 (% of total employment in the sector of activity)
Source: Eurostat (bd_9bd_sz_cl_r2)


Survival rates of cultural businesses

The focus here is to present information on the life-cycle of new enterprises and their ability to survive for up to five years after being set up. Business demography data collection enables new enterprises to be tracked over a five-year period. The data collected allow reporting on the life-cycle of enterprises set up in 2011, a few years after the economic watershed year of 2008.

On average across the EU (single non-weighted average of national data), survival rates for service enterprises as a whole were about 80 % after one year, 60 % after three and 45 % after five (see Table 7). Businesses in the cultural sectors did well by comparison, with survival rates of around 85 % after one year (except for ‘creative, art and entertainment activities’ at 80 %, and ‘libraries and museums’ at 75 %), over 60 % after three years (again, except for ‘creative, art and entertainment activities’ at 55 %, and ‘libraries and museums’ at 50 %). After five years, some cultural activities were well above the 45 % average, such as ‘motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities’ (53 % on average across EU countries) and ‘architectural activities’ (55 %), the longest-lasting businesses. The group ‘photographic activities’ is consistent with the total services figure, while ‘creative, art and entertainment activities’ (43 %) and ‘libraries and museums’ (35 %) confirm they are the most fragile.


Table 7: Survival rate after 1, 3 and 5 years of cultural enterprises born in 2011 (%)
Source: Eurostat (bd_9bd_sz_cl_r2)


In all, enterprises in ‘creative, art and entertainment activities’ and ‘libraries and museums’ were the shortest-lived. For example, in 7 Member States (out of 22 for which data are available), over 25 % of businesses in ‘creative, art and entertainment activities’ failed to get through their first year (Figure 4). The picture did not improve in the long run in those countries, where one third of enterprises or even less survived after 5 years. In comparison with total services figures, the survival rate in the sector after 5 years was particularly low in Belgium (52 % of creative, art and entertainment businesses survived after 5 years, against 64 % in total services), France (35 % against 48 %) and Italy (27 % against 42 %). By contrast, ‘architectural activities’ and the audiovisual sector (‘motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities’ and ‘programming and broadcasting activities’) were the most robust sectors.

Regarding architectural businesses, the highest one-year survival rates by country were recorded in Cyprus (100 %) and the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom (95 % or more). In addition, results in those countries remained positive after five years, with survival rates over 50 % except in Cyprus (44 %). At the other end of the scale, the lowest one-year survival rates were reported in Denmark (64 %), Portugal (68 %) and Italy (73 %); the situation did not improve with time (in Portugal and Italy only one out of four architecture-related businesses was still going after five years).

For the ‘motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities’ sector, the one-year survival rate was of at least 95 % in six countries, with the highest score (100 %) reported in Lithuania. In the United Kingdom, the picture is the same as for other cultural activities and total services: despite the high resilience of very young businesses (with a one-year survival rate of about 95 %), the proportion of survivors dropped drastically after five years (over half of all audiovisual enterprises interrupted their activities, in line with total services figures). Again, as with architecture, the long-run survival rate was higher than that for services as a whole in the business economy: notable examples are Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden, where two out of three businesses related to the ‘motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities’ sector were still going after five years. The lowest one-year results were recorded in Denmark, Germany and Spain: over one third of enterprises failed to get through their first year. After five years in Germany (no data for Denmark and Spain), nearly two thirds of enterprises in the ‘motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities’ sector had disappeared.


Figure 4: Survival rate after 1 and 5 years of enterprises born in 2011 in the sector 'Creative, arts and entertainment activities' (%)
Source: Eurostat (bd_9bd_sz_cl_r2)


Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

Eurostat compiles data on culture related businesses from two main data sources:

SBS cover industry, construction, trade and service enterprises classified according to the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE). This classification allows for a detailed sectoral breakdown of business activities and for some SBS variables (up to three-digit breakdown). The data are also classified by size of enterprise. SBS indicators describe enterprises from the monetary point of view (value added, turnover, staffing costs) and as regards number of enterprises and persons employed.

When an enterprise exercises more than one economic activity, the value added and turnover that it generates, the persons it employs and the values of all other variables will be classified under its principal activity (normally the activity that generates the greatest value added).

BD statistics cover variables that explain the characteristics and demography of the business population (data on enterprise births and deaths, and derived indicators such as survival rate). They do not take account of enterprises being created or closed solely as a result of restructuring, merger or break-up, for example. The data are basically drawn from business registers, but some countries improve the availability of data on employment and turnover by integrating other sources.

As regards the cultural sectors, the coverages of SBS and BD data differ somewhat (see Table 1):

  • The SBS contain data on the structure, conduct and performance of industry, construction, trade and services businesses. To focus on the economic dimension of culture, we selected the following NACE Rev. 2 sectors:
C18 Printing and reproduction of recorded media
C3212 Manufacture of jewellery and related articles
C322 Manufacture of musical instruments
G4761 Retail sale of books in specialised stores
G4762 Retail sale of newspapers and stationery in specialised stores
G4763 Retail sale of music and video recordings in specialised stores
J5811 Book publishing
J5813 Publishing of newspapers
J5814 Publishing of journals and periodicals
J5821 Publishing of computer games
J59 Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities
J60 Programming and broadcasting activities
J6391 News agency activities
M7111 Architectural activities
M741 Specialised design activities
M742 Photographic activities
M743 Translation and interpretation activities
N7722 Renting of video tapes and disks


  • BD data cover variables relating to the characteristics and demography (e.g. number of active enterprises, births, survival rate, deaths) of the business population. The NACE Rev. 2 cultural sectors covered are the following:
J59 Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities
J60 Programming and broadcasting activities
M7111 Architectural activities
M741 Specialised design activities
M742 Photographic activities
M743 Translation and interpretation activities
N7722 Renting of video tapes and disks
R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities


Context

Culture is one of Europe’s greatest strengths: it is a source of values, identity and a sense of belonging. It also contributes to people’s well-being, to social cohesion and inclusion. The cultural and creative sectors are a driver of economic growth, job creation and external trade.

That is why culture is becoming increasingly important at EU level. In accordance with Article 167 of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU ‘shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common heritage to the fore’.

The EU supports these objectives through the Creative Europe programme, as well as a number of policy actions set out in the Work Plan for Culture (2015–2018) and Work Plan for Culture (2019–2022) . This last Work Plan, adopted by EU Culture Ministers in November 2018, sets out the main priorities for European cooperation in cultural policy-making: sustainability in cultural heritage, cohesion and well-being, ecosystem supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals and European content, gender equality and international cultural relations. The production of reliable, comparable and up-to-date cultural statistics, which are the basis of sound cultural policy-making, is a cross-sectorial priority of these Work Plans.

Eurostat compiles culture statistics from several data collections conducted at EU level to provide policy-makers and other users with information on the main trends in employment, business, international trade, participation and consumption patterns in the field of culture.

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Enterprises in cultural sectors (cult_ent)
Number and average size of enterprises in the cultural sectors by NACE Rev. 2 activity (cult_ent_num)
Value added and turnover of enterprises in the cultural sectors by NACE Rev. 2 activity (cult_ent_val)
SBS — industry and construction (sbs_ind_co)
Annual detailed enterprise statistics – industry and construction (sbs_na_ind)
Annual detailed enterprise statistics for industry (NACE Rev. 2, B-E) (sbs_na_ind_r2)
SMEs – annual enterprise statistics by size class – industry and construction (sbs_sc_ind)
Industry by employment size class (NACE Rev. 2, B-E) (sbs_sc_ind_r2)
SBS — trade (dt)
Annual detailed enterprise statistics – trade (sbs_na_dt)
Annual detailed enterprise statistics for trade (NACE Rev. 2 G) (sbs_na_dt_r2)
SMEs – annual enterprise statistics by size class – trade (sbs_sc_dt)
Distributive trades by employment size class (NACE Rev. 2, G) (sbs_sc_dt_r2)
SBS — services (serv)
Annual detailed enterprise statistics – services (sbs_na_serv)
Annual detailed enterprise statistics for services (NACE Rev. 2 H-N and S95) (sbs_na_1a_se_r2)
SMEs – annual enterprise statistics by size class – services (sbs_sc_sc)
Services by employment size class (NACE Rev. 2, H-N, S95) (sbs_sc_1b_se_r2)
Business demography (bd)
Business demography by size class (from 2004 onwards, NACE Rev. 2) (bd_9bd_sz_cl_r2)