In 2017, the direct economic impact of culture, i.e. the total value-added of all areas of culture, amounted to some 47.5 billion euros The proportional value of culture within the economy as a whole has been steadily declining since 2003, when it was worth 2.5%, but has, since 2013, levelled out at 2.3%. The economic crisis affecting the book publishing and more especially the press sector has had a depressive impact on sector growth.
Conversely, a continued upturn in the sectors of the visual arts, architecture and audiovisual, buoyed up by the videogame and cinema film production sectors, has helped drive the growth of the added value of culture. Audiovisual continues to be the single largest cultural sector in terms of its contribution to the economy, representing 27% of the value-added of all the cultural sectors combined.
The cultural sectors employed 635,800 people in 2016 (i.e. 2.4% of the working population),mainly in the press and publishing sector (18%), the visual arts (16%), audiovisual (16%) and the performing arts (15%). Three in ten of those working in the cultural sector are self-employed, as compared with 12% of working population as a whole.