UIS Data Show the Importance of the Culture Sector in the Workforce

The UIS has released new internationally-comparable cultural employment statistics. The collection includes 195 indicators offering a comprehensive perspective of cultural industries in 73 countries and territories. 

The release includes data for the reference year 2015 and detailed metadata for each indicator as well as country-level information.

The data provide insight about the social and economic characteristics of men and women working in the culture sector. This includes cultural occupations, such as a dancers or set designer, as well as people working as an accountant for a theatre company, for example. 

These indicators will help formulate evidence-based cultural policies and feed into efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8), which calls for full and productive employment for all women and men by 2030, decent work and equal pay.  

The new data offer a global snapshot of the weight of the cultural sector in the workforce. As shown in Figure 1, the rate of cultural employment varies considerably. In countries with relatively high levels of GDP per capita, the rate of cultural employment ranges from 3% to 8% of total employment. The range widens in countries with lower levels of income. For example in Latin America, in Mexico almost 10% of the population works in the culture sector compared to just 1% in El Salvador. The UIS will be further exploring the data in an upcoming fact sheet that will focus on women working in culture.

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