Where do creatives cluster?


Around 1.9 million people work in creative occupations across the UK. A new data visualisation explores where these people live 

1st February 2016
By Cath Sleeman

Creatives are defined as those who work in one of 30 creative occupations chosen by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The set of occupations is broad, and includes the likes of architects, programmers, curators, and marketing directors. The data visualisation below explores where these creative people live in the UK (requires a modern browser, such as Chrome).

In 2014, creatives accounted for approximately 6 per cent of total employment across the UK. They tend to be highly educated individuals who hold skilled jobs that are less vulnerable to automation. They are also becoming a larger part of the UK's labour force. Between 2011 and 2014 the percentage of workers employed in creative occupations rose by half a percentage point, and the creatives outnumber those working in STEM occupations (science, tech, engineering and maths).

The visualisation shows that rather than being spread evenly across the UK, creative workers are heavily concentrated in and around London, even after we account for differences in population. The percentage of London's workers in creative occupations is almost three times the national average. To put that result into context, the most intensive regions for STEM occupations (Cambridge and Oxford) have around only twice their share of the national average. Among the nine broad types of creative occupations, publishing and film are the most heavily concentrated in London. However, there are a few creative groups that don't reflect the overall pattern. For example crafts is more widely dispersed and has a relatively stronger presence in the West Midlands and south-west England. Occupations within museums, galleries and libraries are also more evenly spread across the country.

In light of these results and as the creative workforce continues to grow, it will become increasingly important to ensure that London's dominance does not prevent a creative presence from being maintained in all corners of the UK.

This data visualisation was originally published on the Nesta website

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