Arts and culture in figures
Arts and culture have an impact and that is reflected in the research and the figures that are published across the various professional fields. Collect data which you can use to substantiate your story.
What do you use data for?
Figures about the arts and culture sector provide insight into the size of the professional group or field. That says something about the importance thereof. You can also examine this per field: for example, how many shows take place each year, how many architects are there or how many visitors do museums attract?
Pay careful attention to the context when using statistical data. For example, look at the scale: are you talking about impact at the level of a neighbourhood, town or city, region, nationally or internationally? From the Dutch perspective, it is relevant to know that approx. 410,000 people work in the cultural and media sector and that the share of total jobs is approx. 4.3%.
You can use research to elucidate the impact of your own work or field. Place figures in perspective by making a comparison, for example, with an average figure and substantiate your own story in that way.
Data and current affairs
When comparing data, it is also important to place new developments in that period in a broad perspective. For example, the corona pandemic has had major consequences for the entire arts and cultural sector. In 2020 and 2021 you will see a sharp decrease in the number of visitors. Income and employment also declined, despite the financial arrangements to compensate for the lockdowns and restrictive measures.
There have also been successful initiatives to reach audiences online. In most cases, this did not outweigh the loss of income from physical visits. The figures for 2020 and 2021, and probably also 2022, cannot be compared with those of the years before without that context.
Where can you find statistical data?
You will find quantitative data and qualitative and thematic analyses about the Dutch cultural sector in the Cultuurmonitor (Cultural Monitor) of the Boekman Foundation. You can also turn to this for figures about the various professional fields In addition, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce provides figures about the number of employees, self-employed professionals and institutions in the various occupational groups, including the ‘culture and sport’ industry. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and municipalities present statistical data.
Via representative bodies
In order to be able to properly support the interests of a specific field and their own members, representative bodies often conduct research themselves too, for example by questioning their own members or supporters about specific themes. This information is usually presented publicly too. There are various national professional organisations that make an important contribution in this way towards promoting the interests of their own professional group and towards arts advocacy in general. You can also take advantage of these figures in order to substantiate your own story.
Figures for the professional field of heritage
In 2022, the Netherlands have 61,775 national monuments, including windmills, castles, churches and landscaped green areas, such as parks and gardens of country estates. By far the largest part of the national monuments consists of houses (31,577), followed by farms and windmills (9,909). (Cultuurmonitor, 2023)
In 2021, 471 museums are affiliated with the Museum Association. In this year there were 11.8 million museum visits. Pre-corona, in 2019, that was still 33 million. There were 1.4 million visits from abroad in 2021. There were 10 million in 2019. Museums made more than 1 billion euros in turnover in 2021, of which 30% own income, 14% corona support and 57% government subsidies. (Museumvereniging, 2023)