november 2017
32 p.

The cultural expenditure by local and regional authorities amounted to some 9.3 billion euros, i.e. 143 euros per head of population in 2014. Altogether, the municipalities and their intermunicipal groupings made up over three quarters of the total cultural expenditure for local and regional authorities (77%, i.e. 7.2 billion euros). The Départements (intermediate level of territory authority) contributed around 1.4 billion euros (15%) and the regions just under 800 million euros (8%). For the first time, the contribution of municipalities with populations of between 3,500 and 10,000 and their inter-municipal groupings with tax-levying powers were included in the survey: their cultural expenditure represents around one billion euros.

The level of local and regional authorities’cultural investment, i.e. the proportion that they assign to culture in their overall budgets, is on average higher for local authorities (municipalities and intermunicipal groupings) than it is for departments and regions, respectively 7.5%, 1.8% and 2.7%.

The majority (56%) of local and regional cultural expenditure goes towards support for artistic creation and dissemination (around 5.2 billion euros), conservation and cultural heritage dissemination receiving around 40% of total expenditure (i.e. 3.6 billion euros). Municipalities and inter-municipal groupings prioritise the financing of local cultural facilities and services for residents, as evidenced by the extent of their expenditure upon traditional and multimedia libraries, cultural action, the creation and dissemination of live entertainment (music, opera, dance, theatre, etc.) a proportion of which goes to cultural education establishments (conservatoires, art schools, etc.).

Cultural expenditure by the Départements tends to be directed more towards cultural heritage, based on the fact that they have mandatory responsibility for departmental archives and libraries. Ultimately, the regions devote over two thirds of their cultural expenditure on cultural action, essentially in the form of subsidies.

Although cultural expenditure by local and regional authorities has generally remained relatively stable since 2010 (up by 1%), they have not all evolved in the same way: the regions (up by 6%) and particularly inter-municipal groupings (up by 26%) have been dynamic, whereas cultural expenditure by municipalities and departments has on the other hand dropped (down by 2%