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British organisations Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union have teamed up to publish the UK’s first ever ‘Musicians’ Census’ this morning.

It’s based on a survey of nearly 6,000 British musicians at all levels. Among the key findings: the average musician earns £20.7k a year from music work (around $25.9k at current exchange rates).

The ‘from music work’ is an important clarifier there: with 43% of musicians earning less than £14k a year from this, many have part-time or full-time jobs in other sectors to support themselves.

For those who are full-time musicians, the average annual income is £30k.

23% of musicians said they do not earn enough to support themselves or their families, while 17% are in debt – a percentage that rises to 28% for Black musicians and 30% for musicians with a mental health condition.

The survey also highlighted the flexibility of modern musicians, with the average working musician holding down 3-4 different roles in music – not just performing.

The plan is for the census to be repeated every 3-5 years to track changes over time. You can read the full results here.

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