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

U.S. Share of World Creative Goods Trade is Rebounding! Overall, America’s role in global cultural trade declined steadily from 2002 through 2009, but we have seen a rebound in 2010 and 2011. Almost all of this is due to exports, which change more—both up and down—than imports in the U.S. Trade surpluses are good news for the U.S. economy!