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Artists (in the wide meaning of the word) have lower income compared to the Swedish population as a whole. Half of all artists in Sweden have a monthly income lower than 1400 euro (15.000 SEK). The Swedish Arts Grants Committee recently published one of the most extensive surveys done on the income level for artists. The study, done by Statistics Sweden on behalf of The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, concerns the income year of 2004 and 2005 and comprises 21.500 artists. The study gives several interesting facts. One is that compared to the level of education in other occupations, artists in general earn 9200 euro (100.000 SEK) less per year. This also concerns artists with higher education. No matter artistic field; actor, author, dancer, musician, composer, filmmaker, photographer, visual artist, or handicraft artist the figures are the same. The study also showed that 44% had their own business, compared to 10% of the rest of the population.
The National Endowment for the Arts in USA published a study of the situation for artists across the US last summer. The figures showed were very similar. The artists were highly educated, but had low income compared to the population with equal education. Another fact showed was that many artists are self-employed and less likely than others in the workforce to have a fulltime job.
The Swedish Institute for Growth Policy Studies (in Swedish: Institutet för tillväxtpolitiska studier) put forward the difficulties in measuring and defining areas like the cultural economy and experience industry in the september number of the paper Growth Policy View (Tillväxtpolitisk Utblick). Statistical methods and units are not efficient and need to developed. If policy is to be formed within the creative field, other and better ways of measuring the economic impact of the sector is necessary, they argue.
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