Canva investigated the amount of government funding awarded to arts and the number of creative art degrees completed in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand over the past 10 years.

These four countries were named as some of the “most creative” by a recent Global Creativity Index.

Key findings include:

  • The number of completed visual and performing arts degrees in the US has risen by 7% since 2006-07
  • The number of completed creative arts & design degrees in the UK has risen by 17% over the past 10 years
  • UK increased its arts funding by 11% from 2009-2019, it has generated revenue of $130.6 billion—which equals a return on investment of 161%
  • The US hasn’t changed its governmental arts funding in a decade—remaining static at $155,000,000, the same as in 2009
Country Public Funding 2009 (USD) Funding 2009 $ (USD) Change
UK $565.7m $628.9m +11%
USA $155m $155m +0%
Australia $107.9m $128.4m +18%
New Zealand $21.1m $28.1m +33%

Canva also explored the exciting growth of creativity in emerging regions where funding and structural support is less powerful such as in Africa and Latin America. They spoke to a Professor of Creative Industries to understand the biggest obstacles facing the creative industry across the world today, and the founder of a website seeking to harness creative African talent by connecting upcoming and veteran artists with new clients.

The Creative industries generate $2.25 trillion in revenue every year around the world, employing 29.5 million people, and Canva looked into where these creative minds emerge from to see if the enthusiasm for arts and creativity will continue to grow.

Canva investigated the number of creative art degrees completed in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand over the past 10 years. These four countries were named as some of the “most creative” by a recent Global Creativity Index. The data found:

  • The number of completed visual and performing arts degrees in the US has risen by 7% since 2006-07
  • The number of completed creative arts & design degrees in the UK has risen by 17% over the past 10 years
  • The number of completed creative arts degrees in Australia has risen by 21% over the past 10 years
  • The number of completed creative arts degrees in New Zealand has dropped by 0.5% since 2009.

The findings show that the US have an average of 91,007 students complete a visual and performing arts degree each year, the UK 39,464 in creative arts & design, Australia 20,676 in creative arts and New Zealand 2,965 also in Creative Arts.

Governmental arts funding patterns over the last 10 years among four of the world’s “most creative” countries, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, and found that 3 of the 4 countries increased funding over the four years, with only the US remaining static.

The data shows that the UK has invested over 300% more government funding of their central arts programme than the US and has increased funding by 11% over the past 10 years. Australia have increased their investment into their arts programmes by 18% and New Zealand by 33% while the US remains the same as it was 10 years ago with no increase in funding.

This means that federal funding in the US is just $0.47 per capita compared to the UK which is $9.46 per capita, Australia which is $5.2 per capita and New Zealand which is $5.8 per capita.

However, this has not affected the revenue they have witnessed in their creative industries, with the US creative industry worth a massive $804 billion, followed by the UK at $130.6 billion and Australia and New Zealand at $58.7 billion and $2.4 billion respectively.

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