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5271.0 - Australian National Accounts: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts, Experimental, 2008-09  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/02/2014  First Issue
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Gross Domestic Product - National Accounts Basis ($m)(a)
Cultural activity
50 050
Creative activity
78 332
Total for cultural and creative activity (b)
85 956

Share of Gross Domestic Product - National Accounts Basis (%)(a)
Cultural activity
Creative activity
Total for cultural and creative activity (b)

Gross Domestic Product - Satellite Accounts Basis ($m)(a)
Cultural activity
50 861
Creative activity
79 148
Total for cultural and creative activity (b)
86 779

(a) National accounts basis only includes activity measured in Australia's national accounts. Satellite accounts basis also includes volunteer services and non-market output of market producers.
(b) Activity included in both cultural activity and creative activity is counted only once in the total.


  • Cultural and creative activity is estimated to have contributed $86.0 billion (6.9%) to Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a national accounts basis in 2008-09.
  • On a satellite accounts basis, cultural and creative activity is estimated to have contributed $86.8 billion to GDP in 2008-09.
  • Volunteer services to arts and heritage organisations are estimated to have contributed $756 million to GDP on a satellite accounts basis in 2008-09.
  • It is estimated there was an average of 972,200 people during 2008-09 whose main employment was in a cultural or creative industry or occupation.
  • At the end of June 2009, there were 164,730 entities actively trading as a business or non-profit institution within the cultural and creative industries.

  • Cultural and creative activity is measured in the Australian satellite accounts using a different coverage to the estimates published for other nations. When allowances are made for the key coverage differences, the shares of the Australian economy in cultural activity and creative activity are very similar to their shares in other nations.



This publication presents experimental measures of the economic contribution of cultural and creative activity in Australia, within the context of a satellite account linked to the Australian System of National Accounts.

The publication was developed in response to strong user interest and was informed by public consultation as described in the ABS' Discussion Paper: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts (cat. no. 5271.0.55.001) and Information Paper: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts (cat. no. 5271.0.55.002).

The publication was made possible with investment funding by the federal and state and territory governments through the Cultural Ministers' Statistics Working Group. The ability to produce the satellite accounts for future reference years will depend on the continued availability of investment funds from stakeholders, as well as the continued availability of the various input data needed to construct the accounts.

Feedback and inquiries are welcome and will assist the ABS with the future planning of this work, including the potential to apply the satellite accounts' methods to other areas of stakeholder interest. The ABS also welcomes opportunities to collaborate with organisations undertaking similar work for other nations, and to collaborate towards the development of international standards. Feedback and inquiries may be made to the Assistant Director, National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics, at


This is the first issue of this publication.


Not applicable.


All monetary values, unless otherwise indicated, are shown in Australian dollars rounded to the nearest million. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sums of the component items and totals. Where used, the term 'billion' means 'thousand million' in line with Australian standards.

Counts of entities in the section 'Analysis of Results' refer to counts classified by employment size, which may differ to counts classified by turnover size where the data has been confidentialised.


While as much care as possible has been taken to ensure the quality of the estimates in the satellite accounts, users should exercise some caution in the use and interpretation of the results. In order to produce estimates at a finer level of detail than is normally provided in the national accounts, some of the data used to produce the satellite accounts have been extended to the limits of their design capabilities. Assumptions underlying the estimates also have an effect on the estimates' quality.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

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