Monday, 13 January 2014

What's Doing Mondays?

Here’s some writing statistics I found intriguing doing a trawl of the internet the other day. It is taken from a post in 2011 on Publishers Weekly website. It refers to a survey on “Artists and Art Workers in the United States”.

From 2005 to 2009, the survey found an average of 197,768 who identified as writers and authors, making up almost 10% of the 2.1 million total artist work force in the U.S. (You had to list writing as a primary occupation). The study showed that artists were both less likely than other workers to be of a minority race or ethnicity, and were also less likely to be foreign-born. (The full post gives percentages).

More likely to be found among writers and authors, however, were more female workers and more self-employed workers, as compared to the overall workforce: 57% of writers and authors were female; 44% of writers and authors were self-employed.

The study also tracked where book publishing employment is the most concentrated and found that Minnesota was the most dependent on book publishing for jobs. In Minneapolis, the concentration of employment in book publishing is nearly eight times the national average. New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey were the following three states with high concentrations of publishing employees. And while New York and California retain the highest number of artists in the U.S., on a per worker basis, several other states also surpass the national average. Writers and authors are particularly prominent in Oregon and Vermont, two states that exceed the U.S. average by 20% for concentration of artists in the workforce.

I am intrigued now to know a similar set of stats for the UK!


  1. Interesting facts. I wonder how much it has changed since the last survey.

    1. Don't know. I do know that there are a LOT of writers for whom writing is not a full time job as they can't afford to give up day jobs (including me!)