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Economy

The Global Creative Economy Is Big Business

A new report breaks down the successes and limitations of creative industries around the world.
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Paulo Whitaker / REUTERS

I’ve long argued that creativity is a key driver of economic success. My own research—focusing on the role of the creative class across U.S cities and metros—has documented the connection between creativity and the wealth, innovation, and competitiveness of nations.

A new report from UNESCO and the consulting group EY (formerly Ernst & Young) identifies the extent and scope of the creative economy worldwide. To get at this, the report uses data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) to identify the number of workers and overall global economic impact of the creative economy (which it defines as spanning 11 key industries including visual and performing arts, radio, music, books, newspapers and magazines, film, television, architecture, gaming, and advertising). In addition, it draws further insight from 150 interviews with experts and stakeholders across the world.