A new study of the most recent census data indicates that there are more artists than auto workers in Canada—but that artists remain at much lower incomes than the average Canadian worker.
According to the study, titled A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada 2016, there are 158,100 artists in Canada.
That means artists represent almost one per cent of the overall Canadian labour force.
By comparison, the labour force in auto manufacturing is 146,200. And in the utilities sector, it’s even less: 136,300.
In the new study, produced by Hill Strategies of Hamilton, the term “artist” includes various creative forms: musicians and singers; authors and writers; producers, directors and choreographers; visual artists; artisans and craftspeople; actors and comedians; dancers and other performers; and conductors, composers and arrangers.
While artists in Canada are numerous, though, the study also found that their income is scarce.
A typical artist in Canada has a median income of just $24,300, compared to $41,900 for all Canadian workers.
Cultural workers—such as librarians, museum workers, archivists, designers and architects—are slightly better off in terms of workforce and income.
There are roughly 726,600 cultural workers in the experienced labour force in Canada, the study indicates.
Cultural workers have median individual incomes of $41,000.
The study is based on data collected during the 2016 long-form census.
The study said readers should keep in mind that the 2016 census asked Canadians the occupation they worked the most hours in from May 1 to 7, 2016, specifically—and if they did not work that week, they were asked to name the field they had worked in most in January 1, 2015. The study also requested users list income for the 2015 calendar year.