Define “Artist.”

Using the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Microdata from 2009-2011*, BFAMFAPhD found data about “artists” by looking at “field of degree” or “primary occupation.” In this report, an “artist” is someone with an arts degree (see below for degrees we include) or someone who makes a living in the arts.

If we define artist by primary occupation, there are 1.3M artists in the US.

We included the following primary occupations in our Report:

  • Photographers
  • Writers and authors
  • Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers, all other
  • Musicians, singers, and related workers
  • Dancers and choreographers
  • Producers and directors
  • Actors
  • Artists and related workers
  • Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors

We plan to include architects and designers in our next Report:

  • Designers
  • Architects (except naval)

Other related cultural producers:

  • Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators, and media and communication equipment workers, all other
  • Miscellaneous media and communication workers
  • Editors
  • Archivists, curators, and museum technicians

If we define artist by bachelors degree, there are 1.9M artists in the US.

The American Community Survey records respondent's Bachelor's degrees. The following are the arts degrees recorded:

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Microdata 2009-2011, Processed by BFAMFAPhD and IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota, Numbers reported here might not match numbers published in Artists Report due to different years used in each analysis.