The Netherlands has been named the most artistic countries in Europe, according to a recent survey. SVG resource Design Bundles analysed countries based on various factors, such as the number of art institutes and government-funded cultural services in each country. The number of highly visited museums, the number of students studying the arts in higher education and the total cultural export for each country were all reviewed. All of these factors were then given a score out of ten, with the highest combined score being 50.
Based on this method, the Netherlands was given a total score of 29.4 out of 50. The northwestern country was given the highest score of 10 in terms of the number of most visited museums. This means that the Netherlands has the greatest number of highly visited museums per capita.
Two of the most popular museums in Amsterdam are the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, which have featured on the list of the top 20 most visited museums in the world. Both museums received more than two million visitors each in 2019.
The country’s lowest score was for the number of art institutes, which only received a rating of 2.8. Government funding of cultural services in the Netherlands also received a relatively low score of 3.6. However, the total cultural export for the country was rated as a respectable 7.7, in addition to a score of 5.3 for the number of students that are studying an arts subject in higher education.
Top ten most artistic countries in Europe
Coming in second place as one of Europe’s most artistic countries is the United Kingdom. The UK has the highest population featured on the top ten list, with over 67 million people. This large population has helped to contribute to the cultural export from the British Isles, which was rated with a score of ten.
The number of popular museums per capita in the UK was also given a high score of nine. Some of the most famous museums in the UK include the British Museum, which was was the first public national museum in the world and the Tate Modern museum. In 2019, these two museums were Europe’s third and fourth most visited museums.
There are also a high number of students in the UK who are studying an arts subject in higher education, which meant that the UK was given a score of 6.3 in this category. However, the country only received a score of 1.8 for the number of government-funded cultural services and 1.1 for the number of art institutes.
Latvia is one of the smallest European countries in terms of population to feature on the list, but it is ranked as the third most creative country in Europe. This is largely due to its large number of art institutions, which was given a score of ten. The number of government-funded cultural services was also given a score of 9.1, which was the third-highest score in this category.
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Latvia – the Struve Geodetic Arc and the Historic Centre of Riga. Both of these are historic examples of the rich cultural heritage of the country and its artistic past. Four more locations in Latvia are in the proposal stages of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, including natural wonders and sites that hold significant architectural evidence of Lativa’s cultural identity.
The table below shows the ranking of European countries based on several factors to determine how artistic they are. These culturally rich countries are full of local artists that produce world-class art, as well as a decent amount of government-funded cultural services. The booming arts scene in European cities, in addition to the natural beauty of each wonderful country, draws millions of visitors each year.
|No. of most visited museums (Score)
|Gov. funding of cultural services (Score)
|No. of Art Institutions (Score)
|No. of students studying arts in higher education (Score)
|Total cultural export (Score)
|Total Score (out of 50)
A spokesperson for Design Bundles, which commissioned the study, said: “This research paints an interesting picture of Europe’s best place to be an art lover. The Netherlands has produced great artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and van Gogh, and it continues to do them proud with its commitment to art and creativity. Meanwhile, countries such as Italy and France, which have their own amazing artistic heritage, are outranked by nations such as Latvia and Estonia, which have committed more resources comparatively to art funding and education.”
Estonia and Iceland were the only two countries on the list to have a score of ten for government-funded cultural services. However, both countries, along with Ireland, Norway, Belgium and Latvia, had a score of zero for popular museums visited per capita. This had a significant impact on the overall score of these countries and meant that they all scored under 22 points out of a possible 50.
There is only a 0.3 difference between the overall score of Estonia and France, despite France having a population of nearly 65 million compared to Iceland’s much smaller population size of 0.365 million. France is home to Europe’s most visited museum, Le Louvre, which contains famous artworks such as Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. In 2019, there were around 9.6 million visitors that came to see the artwork and cultural pieces in the Le Louvre.
Iceland and Ireland scored the same overall point mark of 20.9, although the two countries excelled in different fields. Ireland gained ten points for the number of students studying arts in higher education, whereas Iceland only received 3.3 points in this category. Comparatively, Ireland only received 1.8 points for government-funded cultural services such as Irish heritage sites and art galleries.
Norway had an overall score of 16.9, which was only 0.7 points more than both Spain and Belgium, which were rated with a score of 16.2 out of a possible 50.