A Snapshot of Indonesia’s Creative Economy

The creative economy plays a significant role in the overall Indonesian economy, yet its benefits extends to non-tangible things, affecting culture and people’s quality of life. The importance of the sector has not gone unnoticed by the government, which oversees the development of the sector through the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf). As media coverage on government policy tends to focus on other areas of the economy, such as agriculture, manifacturing, technology, at times it may lead us to overlook the progress of the country’s creative economy.

Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf) Logo

Thankfully, Kemenparekraf’s 2020 Creative Economy Statistics Report brings to light some key information regarding the sector. While it only provides data on Indonesian creative industries up until 2019, it still helps us to get to know how the landscape of the creative economy looks on a broader level. In its recent reports, Kemenparekraf has classified the creative economy into 16 sub sectors as listed below:

App & Game Development*Culinary
Design/Visual CommunicationPublishing
Product DesignFilm/Animation/Videography
Interior DesignAdvertising
PhotographyPerforming Arts
MusicFine Arts
CraftTV & Radio
*Now separate, but government data still combines the two categories

Creative Economy GDP Growth and Distribution

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics tell us that in 2017, the creative economy brought in Rp989.15 trillion (US$68.7 million in January 2022) to Indonesia’s GDP, contributing 7.28% to Indonesia’s GDP in 2017. Meanwhile, additional research from Brawijaya University, UI Demographic Institute and Kemenparekraf found that the figure has increased to Rp1,153.4 trillion (US$80.3 million) in 2019.

The average economic growth for the whole creative economy is 5.06% in 2017, in line with the national economic growth rate for that year at 5.07%.

We graphed the GDP distribution and growth rates for the creative economy in 2017 using the data that Kemenparekraf took from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Although it is from an earlier year, we prioritised using data from the Central Bureau of Statistics as GDP data from recent years may still not be finalised yet and can still undergo more changes. The two sets of information below were used to show the present status as well as the future potential of Indonesia’s creative industries.

GDP Distribution

Rates of Economic Growth

Many of these subsectors are growing above the national economic growth rate (5.07%), which includes non-creative sectors, but the average growth rate of the entire sector sits relatively low in the graph relative to some of its individual counterparts. As we can see from the GDP distribution graph, this is likely because the average is weighed down by the Culinary, Fashion and Craft subsectors, which make up the largest proportion of Indonesia’s creative economy’s GDP.


In 2019, the value of exports from the creative industries reached US$19.6 million. This amounts to 11.4% of Indonesia’s total exports, which was valued at US$167.8 million that year.

For the distribution of the creative economy’s export value graphed below, we also used 2017 data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Distribution of Export Value (in Percentages)

The distribution of exports in the sector shows one crucial piece of information. While the composition of the creative economy’s GDP is quite diverse, its exports tell us a different story. In 2017, Fashion largely dominates Indonesia’s creative economy exports at 62.04% even though its GDP growth in that year was lower than average at 3.87%. This only goes to show the growth potential of exports from other faster growing subsectors.

Labour force

In 2019, 19.2 million of Indonesia’s 126.5 million total work force are employed in the creative sector. That is 15.21% of the country’s total work force.

We can see a further breakdown of the creative economy labor force in 2019 by both the demographic and subsector in percentages:

By Demographic

Filter by:

By Subsector


The average worker’s salary has increased from Rp2.29 million to Rp2.45 million per month between 2018 and 2019.

The official report does accurately that “average wages in Creative Economy sector [sic] are higher than the average provincial minimum wages, but smaller than average wages of all sectors.” However, it does not mention the actual figures to allow for comparison. Calculating the mean of all 34 minimum provincial wages in 2019 amounts to Rp2,442,829 per month, a difference of Rp12,600 with the average salary in the creative economy. Meanwhile, the average Indonesian worker made Rp2,913,887 per month in 2019, a staggering gap of Rp458,458.The table below lists the average monthly salaries of each subsector in Indonesian Rupiah, sorted from highest to lowest in 2019 for your reference.

App & Game Development4,664,8826,387,285
Visual Communication Design5,745,6285,386,653
Film, Animation and Video5,646,5415,048,137
TV & Radio5,174,8404,598,610
Fine Arts3,404,4304,346,377
Interior Design2,474,3363,444,069
Product Design2,093,8613,017,004
Performing Arts2,624,5852,895,413

Kemenparekraf’s data show how multifaceted Indonesia’s creative economy scene is. With that in mind, the optimism surrounding the creative economy may have dimmed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which halted restaurant dine-ins and live performances, central to this sector. What has the government done to support the growth of the creative economy and its workforce in response to this? Be on the lookout for our next post, where we will address this question. In the meantime, you can read Kemenparekraf’s report in its entirety here.

UPDATE: Kemenparekraf has also published an excellent report summarising the state of the creative economy here, which is a highly recommended read.

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