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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> Culture and recreation >> Children's participation in cultural and leisure activities

A survey of children's activities in the 12 months to April 2000 found that 29% of children aged 5-14 years (777,700 children) were involved in at least one of four selected organised cultural activities outside of school hours.

Girls were twice as likely as boys (40% compared with 20%) to participate in at least one of these activities (table 12.27). Girls were also more likely than boys to be involved in two or more of the selected activities (10% of girls compared with 3% of boys). The rate of children's participation in at least one of the organised cultural activities ranged from 22% in the Northern Territory to 34% in the Australian Capital Territory.

Playing a musical instrument was the most popular of the selected cultural activities (18%), followed by dancing (10%), singing (5%) and drama (5%). The activity with the highest ratio of girls to boys was dancing, with 11 times more girls participating than boys.

12.27 CHILDREN INVOLVED IN SELECTED ORGANISED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), Participation rate - April 2000

Age (years)

5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
All children
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Males
Playing a musical instrument
*4.0
9.8
11.0
16.5
17.0
20.4
20.2
20.8
19.7
18.1
15.8
Singing
**1.1
**0.6
*2.1
*3.2
*3.8
*4.1
*3.0
*4.4
*3.6
*2.8
2.9
Dancing
**1.2
*2.2
*2.1
**0.8
*1.5
*1.6
**0.5
*2.8
*2.7
*1.7
1.7
Drama
**0.1
*1.3
*3.6
*3.5
*2.8
*4.7
*2.4
*4.3
*4.2
*4.8
*3.2
Total(b)
6.2
12.6
15.2
20.5
20.5
25.2
23.5
24.6
24.4
24.0
19.7
Females
Playing a musical instrument
5.4
8.2
15.6
23.7
24.1
27.3
29.4
23.0
23.7
20.0
20.2
Singing
**1.1
*3.5
*4.1
7.5
7.7
10.3
7.7
8.8
7.6
7.7
6.7
Dancing
23.3
25.0
22.0
21.0
21.4
19.5
20.4
15.2
15.7
11.6
19.5
Drama
**0.7
*2.6
*5.1
5.8
5.7
7.8
7.2
10.5
8.4
7.0
6.1
Total(b)
27.9
32.8
37.1
41.8
44.8
45.0
48.0
42.1
41.5
34.6
39.7
Persons
Playing a musical instrument
4.7
9.1
13.2
20.1
20.5
23.7
24.5
22.0
21.7
19.0
17.9
Singing
*1.1
*1.9
3.0
5.3
5.8
7.0
5.2
6.7
5.6
5.1
4.7
Dancing
12.1
12.9
11.7
10.8
11.3
10.1
9.9
9.3
9.1
6.5
10.4
Drama
**0.4
*1.9
4.3
4.6
4.2
6.2
4.7
7.5
6.3
5.8
4.6
Total(b)
16.9
22.0
25.8
31.1
32.5
34.6
35.1
33.8
32.8
29.1
29.4

(a) Outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April 2000.
(b) The sum of activities may not add to the total because some children were involved in more than one activity.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2000 (4901.0).

During the 12-month period, 93% of those children who were involved in dancing had dancing lessons, 75% of those playing a musical instrument had lessons, 69% of those involved in drama had lessons, and 57% of those involved in singing had lessons.

In the two school weeks prior to interview in April 2000, 44% of children (34% of boys and 55% of girls) undertook art and craft activities. This compares with 97% of children who watched television or videos and 69% who played electronic or computer games.

Further details about children's participation in organised sports and other leisure activities are outlined in Children's participation in sports and leisure activities.

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