Skip to content

A Dynamic Mapping of the UK's Creative Industries

This report presents a new way of classifying the UK’s creative industries, and highlights a number of problems with the current government definition.

This report presents a new way of classifying the UK’s creative industries, and highlights a number of problems with the current government definition.

 Key findings

  • The current government definition of the creative industries excludes sectors which contain lots of creative businesses (with a high proportion of workers in creative roles). 
  • For example, the definition doesn’t include a large (and growing) software segment of the creative industries, where significant numbers of new digital creative businesses reside. 
  • Creative economy employment is now a highly significant and growing part of the workforce as a whole, accounting for 8.7 per cent of it by 2010, compared to 8.4 per cent in 2004. 
  • In 2010, almost 2.5 million were employed in the UK’s creative economy, of which 1.3 million worked in the creative industries.

This paper argues that, despite its strengths, the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) definition of the creative industries contains inconsistencies which need to be addressed to make it fully fit for purpose.

 

Our report addresses the shortcomings of the DCMS classification based on a rigorous, analytic method which understands the creative industries as an integrated economic whole. 

 

We also present an improved methodology – which retains the strengths of the DCMS’s approach while addressing its deficiencies. Our approach focuses on creative intensity: the proportion of people within an industry engaged in creative occupations.

 

Authors

Hasan Bakhshi, Alan Freeman and Peter Higgs

Authors

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics

Hasan leads Nesta's creative and digital economy policy and research.

View profile