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Published: 21 October 2016

Employment in cultural industries went down clearly and the share of industries in consumption diminished further in 2014

The role of culture in the economy fell further slightly, and its share of GDP was 2.9 per cent in 2014, whereas it was 3.0 per cent one year earlier. The falling tendency was visible in both production, consumption and particularly in employment. The significant exception was the games industry, which grew strongly in 2014 as well. Most of the activity of the games industry remains outside the limitations of the actual cultural satellite, but separate calculations have been made on the whole games industry for this release.

Percentage share of cultural industries in the national economy in 2008 to 2014

Percentage share of cultural industries in the national economy in 2008 to 2014

Although measured in current prices, the value added of culture was in 2014 at the same level as in 2013, the share of culture in the value added of the whole economy has diminished slightly from before, as the value added of the entire economy grew. In most industry groups, value added was either unchanged or slightly decreased, but small growth was visible in the fields of live culture and radio and TV activities.

In 2014, the share of combined consumption expenditure of culture in all consumption expenditure went down slightly. Altogether, private consumption expenditure grew somewhat, but the sum used by households on culture diminished, so the share of culture in consumption also decreased. The share of culture in public consumption expenditure remained unchanged.

In 2014, the share of culture in employment was 3.5 per cent. The share of culture in employment is clearly higher than its share of value added or output, which were both 2.9 per cent in 2014. The labour domination of culture is affected by the relatively low pay level, part-time work and absence of large companies producing large profits. It is concerning that the number of employed persons in cultural industries has fallen in absolute terms nearly continuously from 2008 onwards, and the fall was particularly big in 2014. This same tendency has been visible in earlier statistics on employment in cultural industries released by Statistics Finland.

Cultural activities have conventionally been regarded as an activity that balances economic trends, whose role usually grows somewhat during downturn, because they include several permanent elements. The share of non-profit and public activities is significant and most engaged in the cultural field do not even imagine they will get rich by their activity. Culture is produced for its own sake in bad economic times as well, even without profit. The prolonged economic downturn is, however, visible in both cultural production and in its consumption – for culture, people look for more inexpensive alternatives when the economy is tight.

Despite the downturn, culture still has a fairly important role in the national economy, because its share of consumption is nevertheless around six per cent and its share of employed 3.5 per cent.

Games industry is growing fast and remains mostly outside the cultural satellite.

Beside the culture satellite, Statistics Finland has also calculated total development between 2008 and 2014 for the games industry that has received much publicity. The games industry can, at least broadly understood, seen to belong to culture, but most game developer companies are working in the industry of programming, which is not included in the cultural satellite calculations. The strong growth in the games industry that started in 2013 continued in 2014, though mainly through a few individual enterprises.

If games industry enterprises belonged to the cultural satellite, the value added of culture in 2014 would be good ten per cent higher than with the present limitation, and the GDP share of culture would also grow slightly from the previous year. Games industry enterprises would not have a significant effect on employment in the cultural industries, although employment would even then fall clearly compared with the previous year. However, for the entire economy, the games industry does not at least yet have a hug significance, although its share of GDP has nearly doubled from around 0.2 to 0.4 per cent.

The statistics on Culture Satellite Accounts depict the economic significance of culture, using the concepts and methods of National Accounts. Data according to the Standard Industrial Classification TOL 2008 have now been released for the years 2008 to 2014 in accordance with the ESA2010 system.

The data for the Culture Satellite Accounts are published on the statistics website as database tables.

Source: Culture Satellite Accounts, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Katri Soinne 029 551 2778,

Director in charge: Ville Vertanen

Publication in pdf-format (207.0 kB)


Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Updated 21.10.2016

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Culture satellite accounts [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-9905. 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.8.2022].
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