An important attribute of the arts economy is its weight in the total makeup of the establishments and businesses in an economy. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) is a system of 1,800 codes for classifying businesses into different industries. The Local and National Arts Index reports use a set of 44 NAICS codes that we selected as the best representation of arts and culture from those 1,800 codes. The Census Bureau provides county-level tallies of establishments, employment, and payroll in the County Business Patterns web site.

This particular indicator measures the share of all employees in a county who work in arts and culture industries, using 2012 County Business Patterns data from the Census Bureau. There are data available on establishments for 2,839 of the 3,143 American counties.

 

Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 1.67%. Median county indicator value = 1.51%.

 

Fast Facts from the Arts Index

International cultural tourism proves recession-proof. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more.  The U.S. Dept of Commerce reports that the percentage of int’l travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17% to 24%), while those including concerts and theater performances have increased five of the past seven years (13% to 17% since 2003).