Published: 16 October 2019

In 2017, the share of culture in the economy decreased slightly even though the games industry was included in the culture satellite

In the time series based on new calculations the share of culture in the economy in 2017 has decreased slightly compared to 2016, that is the share in GDP was 3.4 per cent (3.5 per cent in 2016). The latest cultural satellite calculations take into account both the time series revision made in national accounts and the industry change of some games industry enterprises. Adding the games industry to the calculation affected the results so that the previous continuously falling trend has actually been growing in recent years and only in 2017 has the share of culture in the economy, both measured by output and value added, made a downturn. The share of culture of the employed has decreased constantly and as a result of the new calculations the share of the employed has decreased more than the share of output and value added in recent years.

The results of the culture satellite are compared with the figures of the national accounts of which time series revised data were published in September 2019. The culture satellite calculations were revised in some parts to correspond with these new time series revised data, but a majority of satellite calculations remained unchanged. In the time series revision, the value of GDP increased by around EUR one to two billion annually starting from 2010, and slightly less in earlier years. In the results of the culture satellite, the GDP level increase was visible so that the share of culture in the value added of the whole economy decreased annually by 0.1 percentage points compared with previous calculations. The output was also revised, primarily downward, but this had no effect on the culture satellite calculations and the share of the output of the whole economy remained unchanged. In connection with the time series revision, the number of employed persons was also revised to better correspond with the level of new source data. The total number of employed persons grew slightly throughout the 2000s. As the level of the whole economy is also higher than before in terms of employed persons, the share of culture declines a bit, annually by 0.1 percentage points compared with previous calculations.

A revision that was based on Statistics Finland reviewing the industrial classification of close on 300 games industry enterprises had the opposite effect. The Standard Industrial Classification has separate categories for computer game programming activities (62010) and publishing of computer games (58210). Publishing refers to acquiring publishing rights for games and making the games available to customers in various forms. Of these two categories, publishing of computer games is included in the culture satellite but programming is not, as this category covers programming more extensively than just in terms of computer games. As a result of the review, close on 10 per cent of the games industry companies were moved to category 58210, in which case they are included in the scope of the description of the culture satellite. The majority of the games industry previously calculated separately is now included in the culture satellite calculations so there is no need to compile a separate games industry calculation any longer. The industry change was considered in the national accounts starting from 2011 as prior to this, the activities of the games industry enterprises to which the change applies were not significant. Correspondingly the change was applied to the culture satellite calculations from 2011 onwards. Both in terms of output and value added including the games industry in the culture satellite raises the share of culture in the whole economy by a maximum of 0.5 percentage points per year but the effect is not visible in employment as we have assumed previously.

In the time series based in new calculations the share of culture in the economy in 2017 has decreased slightly compared to 2016, that is the share in GDP was 3.4 per cent (3.5 per cent in 2016). Adding the games industry to the calculation affected the results so that the previous continuously falling trend has actually been growing in recent years and the share of culture in the economy has only made a downturn in 2017. The share of culture in GDP would have been slightly smaller than in the year before even without the games industry, that is calculated with the old content.

Percentage share of cultural industries in the national economy in 2008 to 2017

Percentage share of cultural industries in the national economy in 2008 to 2017

The value added of culture decreased slightly from the year before and as the value added of the whole economy increased, the share of culture in the value added decreased in 2017. The development has, however, been different between various cultural fields: for example, performing arts, book and media industries grew, while industries related to games and arrangement of cultural events declined clearly.

In 2017, the share of combined consumption expenditure of culture in all consumption expenditure remained unchanged. General government's consumption expenditure of culture remained on level with the previous year and private consumption expenditure rose slightly. A slight increase in the figures did not change the share of culture in consumption expenditure, as the consumption expenditure also increased for the whole economy. The time series revision also concerned households’ consumption expenditure where the overall level decreased slightly. In connection with the time series revision, the “comparison data” for current consumption expenditure was also revised so that it matches the one used in the balance of supply.

In 2017, the share of culture in employment was 3.1 per cent. The share of culture in employment has previously been higher than its share in value added or output, but the gap was growing smaller even with the old data content and now that the games industry was included in the calculations the employment share of culture fell below that of value added and output. Employment in the games industry is relatively small, so the changes in industry are not visible in the employment figures. The pay level in the field of culture is relatively low, there is a lot of part-time work and a rather small number of large enterprises that produce large profits. The absolute decrease in the number of employed persons in cultural industries that has continued since 2008 appears to go on further.

Culture has conventionally been regarded as an activity that balances economic cycles, whose role usually grows somewhat during a downturn, because it includes several permanent elements. The share of non-profit and public activities is significant and maximising profits is not always the primary objective. Culture is produced for its own sake, even without profit. However, the economic downturn was visible in both cultural production and in its consumption; also when it comes to culture, people look for more inexpensive alternatives when the economy is tight, and the money spent on culture has not made a clear upturn even if the economy is otherwise growing.

Although the share of culture in the economy has been falling on the long term, culture still has a fairly important role in the national economy, because its share of consumption is nevertheless good four per cent and its share of employed slightly over three 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 2016 in accordance with the ESA2010 system and the time series revisions published in autumn 2019.

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, kansantalous@stat.fi

Director in charge: Ville Vertanen

Publication in pdf-format (222.2 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 16.10.2019

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Culture satellite accounts [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-9905. 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/klts/2017/klts_2017_2019-10-16_tie_001_en.html