Preface by the OECD

Why a culture fix? Cultural and creative industries combine aesthetics with economic returns, bringing revenues, greater value added and jobs to our cities and regions. Creative people working in practically all sectors of the economy spur innovation and help meet the challenges of the future. Culture makes our places more inclusive and more attractive to live and visit. And we all need our “dose” of culture for our well-being. But to reap these benefits in the recovery, we need to help “fix” the sector after its big hit from the COVID-19 crisis while also taking the opportunity to better leverage on its economic and social benefits through mainstreaming culture across policy portfolios, beyond cultural policy. And here the OECD can play a major role, complementing the work of the European Commission, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other international efforts.

To drive momentum on this front, national and subnational governments need more and better evidence on the economic and social impact of culture. Robust data and evidence can raise awareness of the value of culture and creative sectors among policy makers, citizens, education and training providers, other firms in the value chain, and investors, both public and private.

This report does that by bringing together new data at national and subnational level for OECD countries, building on the existing body of work by Eurostat, UNESCO and national statistical offices. It also explains how culture interacts with and reinforces job creation, entrepreneurship, regional innovation, local development and well-being. The report also highlights the critical importance of public and private investment in culture. A key take-away is that culture can no longer be seen as a “nice to have”, “last to invest, first to cut” budget line.

By working with national and local policy makers, the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions, and Cities, through its Local Employment and Economic Development Programme, provides policy guidance for promoting culture-centred local development, adapting business support infrastructure, developing the right skills for quality jobs, including by upscaling support to self-employed creatives, and addressing the precariousness of many creative jobs. Going forward we will continue to work towards improved and internationally comparable data on cultural and creative sectors to inform policies, building on our unique regional and metropolitan databases, and continue to help regions and cities in their efforts to target investment where it is most needed and impactful.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on cultural and creative sectors was unprecedented amplifying many pre-existing challenges. If there was one thing good about this crisis it is the strong recognition of the role culture and creativity play for our people, places and firms. The OECD, including through our strong partnership with the European Commission, will continue to support national and local recovery strategies in shaping new development models that capitalise on cultural and creative sectors.


Lamia Kamal-Chaoui


Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at