The size of the creative industry in the United States was a staggering

up from $30.1 billion in 2011.

The Craft and Hobby Association released its new study of the U.S. craft market along with a new name to reflect its more expansive scope: the Association For Creative Industries (AFCI).

The new AFCI study, completed with market research firm MaritzCX, data collection is ongoing and updates are expected later this year. The study didn’t make direct comparisons between the data from 2011 and 2016, marketing and PR manager Kristen Farrell told me, because the research methods changed.

The study estimated the size of the U.S. creative industry by sampling nearly 10,000 residents and asking if anyone in their household had participated in any creative activities in the past 12 months — 63 percent said they had, up from 56 percent of households in 2010. The respondents shared which activities they’d participated in, for how much time, and how much they spent on their activities. The survey was conducted over the course of a year to avoid seasonality.

Respondents reported how much they spent on their activities, and that was extrapolated out to the American public. Creative activities were broken down into 10 major categories:

  • Paper crafts (including traditional and digital scrapbooking, card making and Artist Trading Cards)
  • Beads & jewelry
  • Floral crafts
  • Edible arts (including cake decorating, candy making and vegetable carving)
  • Wood crafts & home décor
  • Knitting & crocheting
  • Needle arts (including cross-stitch, embroidery, weaving and needle felting)
  • Sewing & fabric (including quilts, apparel and home décor)
  • Painting & drawing (including paints, inks, pastels, charcoal, pencil, watercolors, calligraphy and printmaking)
  • Kids crafts
  • Other (includes any activities not explicitly included in other categories, holiday crafts, or mixed-media projects, such as candle making, stenciling and doll making.

Crafters are younger than the average American

“The DIY movement probably inspired a lot of the younger generation,” Farrell says. Seeing creative activities on social media encourages people to build their creative confidence.

Men are makers, too

AFCI believes male participation and Hispanic participation in creative activities were underreported in past studies.  The new report shows that while 16 percent of the total people surveyed were Hispanic, 20 percent of crafters were Hispanic.

All of the research reports are free for all AFCI.UK members. Non-members should contact Craig De Souza – Executive Director to request pricing information or if you have any questions regarding AFCI research.

Research Available to Member:

  • 2016 Creative Products Size of the Industry – Full Report
  • 2016 Creativation Keynote Presentation
  • 2016 Creative Products Size of the Industry Study Infographic
  • AFCI DESIGNER SECTION TRENDS REPORT – The AFCI Designer Section Trends Report (winter edition) is now available and identifies emerging trends for the first six months in 2016.
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