In 2016, the direct economic impact of culture, i.e. the total value-added of all areas of culture, amounted to some 44.5 billion euros. The proportional value of culture within the economy as a whole (2.2%) has been steadily declining since 2003 (2.5%). The main cause of this downturn is the economic crisis affecting the press and book publishing sector (0.6% of GDP in 2003, 0.4% in 2016).
2016 was a difficult year for cultural heritage and the performing arts (down 1.2% and 1.8% respectively on 2015), a direct consequence of the terror attacks in 2015, which had a strong impact on foreign tourism in the Paris area and on cultural events and institutions security costs. Conversely, there was an upturn in the sectors of the visual arts (+3.9%) audiovisual (+2.5%) and advertising agencies (+2.5%). Audiovisual represents 29% of the value-added of all the cultural sectors combined and is the single largest cultural sector in terms of its contribution to the economy.
The cultural sectors employed 620,000 people in 2015 (i.e. 2.4% of the working population), mainly in the press and publishing sector (18%), the visual arts (16%) and audiovisual (15%). One third of those working in the cultural sector are self-employed, as compared with 12% of working population as a whole.