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Home > Culture > Framework for Cultural Statistics Accueil

Framework for Cultural Statistics 

There is a critical need for internationally comparable statistics to monitor the rich diversity of cultural goods, services and practices.


What is the role of the UIS?


Accurate, comparable data are needed to better measure the impact and relevance of cultural policies and initiatives. The 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS) addresses this need by defining culture for statistical measurement purposes. Developed by the UIS in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Culture Sector, the framework replaces the 1986 version.


Standard cultural statistics typically collect data on museum attendance, for example, or the number of people employed in theatre or dance companies. But what about the professional story-tellers or the artisans of the cottage industries that are so prevalent in many countries? The revised framework better reflects the full range of cultural professions and practices found around the world – from woodworkers and basket weavers to ancestral ceremonies and rituals. This vital information is needed to understand how culture can contribute to the economy and well-being of communities and countries at large.


The 2009 framework facilitates cross-national comparisons by using standardized definitions and classifications. It reflects global changes in technology, our understanding of fundamental cultural issues, advances in measurement, and progression in cultural policy priorities that have occurred since the 1986 framework was first introduced.

 Featured Content

Festival Statistics: Key concepts and current practices (FCS Handbook #3)
Measuring Cultural Partcipation (FCS Handbook #2)
Measuring the Economic Contribution of Cultural Industries (FCS Handbook #1)
Festival Statistics: Key concepts and current practices (FCS Handbook #3)
Measuring Cultural Partcipation (FCS Handbook #2)
Measuring the Economic Contribution of Cultural Industries (FCS Handbook #1)
UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (1986)

Implementing the 2009 Framework*


In order to support the implementation of the FCS globally, the UIS has developed a series of regional training workshops for national statisticians. This will present an opportunity to  provide capacity building for Member States to improve the quality of cultural statistics.


The UIS provides technical assistance to countries in developing their national statistical framework on culture based on the FCS. It also assists in efforts to improve cultural statistics gathered by a country. Furthermore, the UIS is developing a series of methodological handbooks on key topics, such as cultural participation and the economic contribution of culture.


*Please note that in addition to the six official UN languages, the Framework is available in Mongolian and Vietnamese


Additional resources:

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