Before the Corona: Israelis spent $ 66 billion on culture


The national expenditure on culture, entertainment and sports in 2019 amounted to NIS 66.8 billion, which is 4.7% of the total gross domestic product last year. This is according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics published today (Wednesday).

The same expense includes the value of the services and products provided by the business sector, the government sector and non-profit institutions, as well as the investment of these sectors in buildings and equipment. The services included in the expenditure are orchestral and theater services, sports and games, radio and television services, cinemas, community centers, Mifal Hapayis, “Sportoto”, Internet use and more. The services do not include expenses for food and accommodation services in Israel or for travel abroad, including entertainment services And sports abroad. The products included are radios and televisions, stereos, video cameras, CDs, musicians, computers, books, games and more.

Segmented by type of activity, the highest expenditure of the total current expenditure was for music and the performing arts, an expenditure that accounted for 22.5% of the total expenditure. Sports and games, which include sports clubs and swimming pools, accounted for 18.2%, and socio-cultural activity, mostly in neighborhood community centers, accounted for 17.9%.

National expenditure in these areas, at constant prices, increased by 4.1%, following a rise of 6.4% in 2018. Last year, current expenditure in these areas amounted to NIS 7,198, an increase of 2.1% compared to 2018.

In the classification of expenditure by sector, two types of classification were conducted: by financing sector and by operating sector. By classification by financing sector, financing was defined as the total direct expenditure on goods and services plus subsidies, grants, transfers and other net payments to other sectors, excluding the provision of loans. Sorted by operating sector, expenses were summarized according to the sector that provided the goods and services, regardless of the sector it financed. For example: the expenditure of non-profit institutions, such as a museum or cinematheque, on the purchase of goods and services was recorded as an expenditure of these institutions and not of other factors in the economy that financed it.

Last year, households in Israel financed 81.9% of the national expenditure on culture, entertainment and sports, out of NIS 64.9 billion, excluding wear and tear. This is compared to 82.8% in 2018 and compared to 83.7% in 2017. The rest of the expenditure was financed by the local authorities, which constitute 12.0%, the government spent 5.7% and the non-profit institutions – 0.4%.

79.6% of the total expenditure of households on culture, entertainment and sports in 2019 was expenditure on cultural services, such as: plays, films, concerts, sports shows, internet, gambling and more. The rest of the expenses were for the purchase of products such as radios and televisions, stereos, camcorders, CDs, musicians, computers, books, games and more.

Matan"S. Philip Leon in Jerusalem, in 2017 // Photo: Oren Ben Hakon

The business sector’s share of spending on culture, entertainment and sports in 2019 reached 61.8%. The business sector provides all the products in the field of culture and all the cultural services in the field of communications, gambling, internet and computers. It also provides most of the cultural services in the fields of music and the performing arts and sports.

The rest of the cultural, entertainment and sports services were provided by non-profit institutions (community centers, museums, theaters, sports associations, etc.), which accounted for 23.3%. Local authorities were 12.3%. These are public libraries, cultural and sports activities, gardens and plantations and swimming pools. The government’s share is 2.6%, and its share mainly includes the fields of culture and the arts, social-community activities, the youth department and the Sports Authority, and the preservation of the environment, which is funded by the Ministry of Education and the Jewish Agency.

Government, local authorities and non-profit investments in buildings and equipment, for cultural, entertainment and sports purposes last year amounted to NIS 3.8 billion, which is 1.3% of the total investment in fixed assets in the economy. 85.6% of these investments were invested in buildings and equipment, machinery and transportation. Most of the investment, 86%, was made by local authorities.

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