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Key Statistics

Statistics on the UK’s Creative Industries

In 2001 the Creative Industries were defined by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as those industries ‚Äėwhich have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property‚Äô (UK Government 2021).

Currently DCMS uses a measurement that builds on this original definition but is based on the ‚Äėcreative intensity‚Äô of an industry. A subsector (like Publishing or Architecture) is normally deemed creative when more than thirty percent of its workforce are doing what we call ‚Äėcreative occupations‚Äô (e.g. they might be designers, producers or games developers). To be part of the Creative Industries, sectors also have to meet other threshold criteria (DCMS 2016).

Nine subsectors

The resulting definition of the Creative Industries comprises the following nine subsectors:

Advertising and marketing

Architecture

Crafts

Design and designer fashion

Film, TV, video, radio and photography

IT, software and computer services

Publishing

Museums, Galleries and Libraries

Music, performing and visual arts

The Creative Industries subsectors are defined by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes and partially overlap with the DCMS definitions of the cultural sector, the digital sector and the tourism sector (UK Government 2021).

Not all creative occupations are in the Creative Industries. For example, a marketing professional (a creative occupation) might work in the financial services (not part of the Creative Industries). It is sometimes more useful, therefore, to talk about the ‚ÄėCreative Economy‚Äô which comprises the whole Creative Industries workforce (creative and non creative occupations), as well as those working in creative occupations in other sectors.

It is important to note that the Scottish Government, while building on the UK wide approach to defining the Creative Industries, takes a slightly different approach – detailed here.

Headline Statistics about the Creative Industries

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DCMS Economic Estimates 2019 (provisional)

0m
Jobs where created by the Creative Industries in the year from July 2020 to June 2022.
0
or over one in eight UK businesses (11.8%) in 2019 are part of the Creative Industries
0%
Of creative companies were micro-businesses (fewer than 10 employees) in 2019.

Of all creative
businesses

Are located in London
34%
London and the greater South East (London, South East and East of England)
63%
North of England (North East, North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber)
13%
The Midlands (East and West Midlands)
10%
Wales
2%
Scotland
5%
Northern Ireland (ibid.)
1%

Skills and Jobs

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72%

of the creative workforce are highly qualified, i.e. hold a degree/ higher level qualification (Level 4 or higher) or equivalent compared with 45% for the whole economy in 2019 (DCMS 2021).

83%

of creative occupations are within ‘higher level occupations’, i.e. Managers, directors and senior officials; Professional occupations; and Associate professional and technical occupations, compared to 46% of the workforce across the UK (ibid.).

Just Over
29%

of the creative workforce is freelance, compared to 15% across the UK (DCMS Sector Economic Estimates: Employment July 2020 ‚Äď June 2021).

Education

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93%

of 16-18 year olds say studying a creative subject impacts positively on their mental health and wellbeing. (Enhancing creative education, 2022)

Only 0%
Only 17% of the graduate population are creative graduates, but they represent 46% of graduates working in the Creative Industries (For love or money? Graduate motivations and the economic returns of creative higher education inside and outside the Creative Industries, 2020).
£0 more a year
Creative graduates earn, on average, approximately £2,300 more a year when working in the Creative Industries compared with creative graduates working outside the Creative Industries (ibid.).
£0 a year
Non-creative graduates earn, on average, approximately £1,300 a year more when working in the Creative Industries compared with non-creative graduates working outside the Creative Industries (ibid.).

Geography

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London

London represented 31% of Creative Industries employment,
31%
34% of businesses
34%
Of economic output (GVA
52%

London and the Greater South East

London and the Greater South East
54%
62% of businesses
62%
Of economic output (GVA)
74%

North of England

London represented 31% of Creative Industries employment,
31%
34% of businesses
34%
Of economic output (GVA
52%
57%

of UK createch companies are based in London (Createch activity in the UK 2021).

78%

78% of AI and Data createch businesses based in the UK are located in London.

R&D and Innovation

Creative Research and Development (R&D) is crucial for innovation in the sector and makes up a larger proportion of the economy than might be expected, considering that R&D is typically associated with sectors like manufacturing or biotechnology. But both in the Creative Industries and other sectors, the UK under-invests in R&D compared to its peers, potentially restricting the development of improved products, services or processes and harming international competitiveness.

For the whole economy (Creative Industries and other sectors), total investment in R&D from business, public sector and other sources was

0%
of GDP in 2019 in the UK compared to
0%
in the OECD average (ONS 2021).

Specifically, business investment in R&D, which is spurred by public investment, was 

0%
of UK GDP in all economic sectors, lower than the OECD average of 1.5% in 2019 (ONS 2021, The Royal Society 2021).

Creative Industries R&D represented 

0%
 of all business R&D in 2018, up from under  
0%
in 2009 (PEC 2022; ONS 2021). Even once IT, Software and Computer services (which make up a disproportionately large amount of the total creative R&D expenditure) are excluded from the totals, creative R&D still accounts for 4.3% of the whole economy’s Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD). (PEC 2022; ONS 2021).

International trade and exports

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90%

of the value of exports from the CIs is created domestically (12 facts about the UK’s international trade in creative goods and services).

0%
Creative Industries services exports increased by 150% between 2010 and 2017 (ibid.).
£0bn
Creative services exports were worth £37.9bn in 2019, of which £18.bn was to Europe and £13.1bn to the Americas (DCMS 2021).
£0bn
The UK exported creative goods worth £13.8bn in 2019 (DCMS 2022).

Class, diversity and socio-economic inequality

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52%

of the CIs workforces were from high socio-economic backgrounds, compared to 38% across all industries in 2020 (PEC 2021).

0
additional working-class people would need to be employed in the CI sector to make it as socio-economically diverse as the rest of the economy (PEC 2021).

PEC

PEC research on diversity and inclusion has, to date, aimed to fill a knowledge gap on socioeconomic class. Resources providing details on other important aspects of representation and inclusion include those published by:

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