Cultural/Arts Institutions

Desired Trend


Current Trend

Baseline (2010): $ 105.90
Current (2012): $ 114.69

Theme Educated


Cultural/arts nonprofit revenue per capita in constant dollars

Why is it Important?

In addition to the joy and entertainment that the arts provide to individuals, they also provide numerous benefits to the community at large, all of which support sustainability. The arts increase awareness of new perspectives, increase social capital by bringing people together, strengthen the community’s identity, and inspire a sense of belonging. Additionally, the arts provide informal education on arts and culture and strengthen the local economy. The arts have a substantial impact on the economy by encouraging tourism, providing jobs, and creating spillover effects that support the local economy. In the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, the average arts attendee spends $23.76 per event, not including the price of admission. That additional money goes back into the local economy through purchases such as meals, souvenirs, transportation, and lodging.1

This indicator measures the strength of the arts and culture sector by tracking the total revenue per capita of arts and culture nonprofits in the region.2 Arts and culture nonprofits include those that promote the appreciation of music, theatre, dance, and the visual arts, as well as museums, libraries, festivals, botanical gardens, and zoos.

How are we Doing?

Total revenue per capita for arts and cultural institutions in the St. Louis region increased from $105.90 in the baseline year 2010 to $114.69 in 2012 (both in 2012 dollars). Since 2009, revenue per capita increased by $12.04. Revenue per capita is very different among the eight counties in the region, ranging from $0.59 per capita in Jefferson County to $715.41 per capita in the city of St. Louis (2012). Only two counties (St. Clair County and City of St. Louis) had increases in nonprofit revenue per capita from 2010 to 2012, while the remaining counties either remained about the same or had decreases.

While the city of St. Louis has far more revenue per capita than the other counties in the region, the number of institutions per capita in each county is not as divergent.  In 2012, the city of St. Louis had the highest number of institutions with 31 arts and culture nonprofit institutions per 100,000 residents. Monroe and St. Louis counties had the next highest with 27 and 13 institutions per 100,000 residents, respectively, and Jefferson County had the lowest with 2 institutions per 100,000 residents. 


Geographic Level

St. Louis eight-county bi-state region, including Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties and the city of St. Louis in Missouri and Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties in Illinois. View map.


1Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV: National Statistical Report, 2012; accessed on 16 December 2013 at

2Total revenue includes program revenue from admission and subscription fees, contributions revenue from donations, and other sources of revenue such as investment income.

Data Sources

Local Arts Index, Americans for the Arts