Operating revenues in cultural and creative industries were 126 billion ISK in 2021, increasing by 5.6% from 2020 (numbers are adjusted for inflation). The operating revenues were highest for film and TV, or 22% of the total amount.

Between 2020 and 2021 the operating revenues increased most witin music, by 54%, and in cultural heritage, by 34%. From 2019 to 2020 the operating revenues also decreased most in those two industries, by 44% in music and 43% in cultural heritage. Looking at a five year period, from 2017-2021, operating revenues in cultural and creative industries decreased by 4.2%. Within the twelve cultural and creative industries, the revenues decreased in five and increased in seven. The most increase in that period was within film and TV, by 44%, and in computer games, by 40%. The most decrease was in printing, 46.4%.

Looking at a ten year period, from 2012-2021, operating revenues in cultural and creative industries increased in total by 2.9%. Proportionally they increased most in cultural heritage, where they quadrupled from 425 million to 1.8 billion ISK, and then in design and architecture, where they more than doubled from 8.4 billion to 18.2 billion ISK. Operating revenues also almost doubled in film and TV and arts education. However, they decreased in four cultural and creative industries during the same period, by 42% in media and 60% in printing.

Cultural employment 7.3% of total employment
Of those employed in cultural and creative industries, most were employed in design and architecture, or 15.6%. Those employed in design and architecture have also increased proportionally most since 2013, by 63%. During the same period the number also increased in seven other cultural and creative industries but decreased in five, proportionally most in media and printing, where the number in 2022 was about half of what it was in 2013. The decrease in media is mostly due to changes in operations setup in media.

In total the number of people employed in cultural and creative industries decreased by 6.6% between 2013-2022, but excluding media and printing, it increased by 21.7%.

Looking at total cultural employment according to the Icelandic Labour Force Survey, 15.400 people in the ages between 16-74 years old were in cultural employment in 2022 or 7.3% of total employment. The proportion has remained similar for the past five years.

About the data
Statistics Iceland‘s cultural indicators are based on a special side categorisation of enterprises and organisations into cultural and creative industries, allowing for a breakdown between industries. The categorisation was developed with the needs of Icelandic users for official statistics in mind and is based on a system of categorising NACE rev. 2 economic activities either fully or partly into specific cultural and creative industries.

Those economic activities which are not fully categorised as falling within a specific cultural and creative industry are then examined and organisations within it manually categorised into cultural and creative industries. The aim is to categorise all organisations which have 3 million ISK or more in operating revenue for at least one year during the reference period, covering at least 90% of the total operating revenues within the population. Unfortuantely the cultural indicators are currently only available in Icelandic but the numbers behind them can be found in webtables.

In IS-LFS data there is a cross-tabulation of cultural occupations (ÍSTARF95) and cultural industries (ÍSAT08) which Eurostat categorises as ‘fully cultural’. Cultural employment thus refers to all occupations in cultural industries as well as cultural occupations in other industries.