In many communities, bookstores serve as not only a retail outlet for books and other materials, but also as gathering places for cultural activities. Those activities may include reading groups, music or other performance activities, and social and communal activities. Despite rapid changes in book publishing, bookstores have a special place in cultural identity.

As with all indicators utilizing data from Claritas, this indicator represents a per capita estimate of dollars to be spent in 2015 by county residents on reading material. These estimates combine the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey data with an annual modeling of spending patterns. Like many other LAI indicators, we believe these should be considered in a regional context, because consumers do not limit their spending to their home county.

Additional Information: Counties with indicator value = 3,143. Average county indicator value =$204.49. Median county indicator value = $203.26.

 

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).