Measuring how culture contributes to economic development
Since the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997), UNESCO has worked to strengthen recognition of how culture
contributes to sustainable development and economic prosperity. In this context, understanding the value of cultural employment
to the economy is vital. However, without appropriate methods of measurement and sound statistics countries lack the tools
necessary to evaluate the extent and characteristics of cultural employment in a comparable way.
What is the size of the cultural labour force in the economy? How many artists are employed as performers? What are the
unemployment rates of the culture sector compared to other sectors? These and other questions have emerged as countries
seek to adopt policies and undertake activities to foster vibrant cultural industries.
What is the role of the UIS?
The UIS is developing a global survey on cultural employment statistics. The results will shed light on the contribution of
culture to economic and social development, as well as the conditions of those engaged in cultural activities. The UIS is developing a questionnaire using the methodology of the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics, which will be implemented in stages over several years.