Statistical Insight on the Arts

Hill Strategies Research conducted an eye-opening study to examine the number and situation of artists in Canada. This research acts as a statistical profile of artists and cultural workers in Canada. Note: this acts as a summary of very in depth research. Click here for the full report


As of May 2011, 0.78% of the overall Canadian labour force consists of artists, that is one in every 129 Canadian workers. The number of artists, 136,600, is higher than the labour force in the automotive manufacturing industry.


As for cultural workers, there are 671,000 people comprising 3.82% of the overall labour force. That is one in every 26 Canadians and is over two-and-a-half times larger than the labour force in real estate.


The study found a huge number of interesting facts surrounding arts and culture workers. They found that the growth rate for arts and culture workers is much higher than the over all labour force. From 1989 to 2013 there has been a 56% increase in the number of artists in Canada, cultural workers have increased by 47%, while the overall labour force has seen a 38% increase.


Figure ES1_edited-1


Regarding the income of artists and cultural workers, the report finds that the total individual income of Canada’s 136,600 artists averages $32,800, a figure that is 32% less than the overall labour force in Canada ($48,100). Cultural workers have average individual incomes of $42,100 (12% less than the overall labour force).


Figure ES2


Interestingly, female artists earn much less than their male counterparts, but this difference in earnings is equal to the difference in the overall labour force. On average, female artists earn 31% less than their male counterparts. In the overall labour force, women also earn 31% less than men which is $36,800 vs. $53,300.


Hill Strategies Research is a Canadian company that specializes in applying social science research methods to the arts sector. You can read the full and fascinating findings of this study on their website. 


Categories: Musings