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1345.4 - SA Stats, Nov 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2007   
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SPORTS ATTENDANCE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Sport is an intrinsic feature of the South Australian lifestyle. Whether it is as a participant, spectator or volunteer, South Australians are actively involved in sport. As outlined in the Information Paper: Measuring Social Capital - An Australian Framework and Indicators (cat. no. 1378.0), participation in activities such as attendance at sporting events contributes to social connectedness and a sense of social belonging. High levels of social participation and social connectedness contribute to the overall well-being of society and are also considered to have positive impacts on an individual's health. Data on attendance at sporting events therefore helps to assess the level of social capital enjoyed by the South Australian community.
In 2005-06, almost half (49%) of South Australians aged 15 years and over attended a sporting event. This was the second highest rate of attendance in sporting events of all states and territories. Australian Rules football (AFL) was the most popular sporting event for South Australians. Since 1995, South Australia's sports attendance rate has been consistently higher than the national rate.

Further information can be obtained from Sports Attendance, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 4174.0).


SPORTS ATTENDANCE

In 2005-06, South Australians had the second highest rate of sports attendance of all states and territories. About 594,600 people, or 49% of South Australians aged 15 years and over attended a sporting event in the 12 months prior to interview. This attendance rate was higher than the national rate of 44%, and only second to the Northern Territory which had the highest attendance rate (50%). South Australians have consistently had a higher rate of sports attendance than the national rate since data was first collected in 1995.

ATTENDANCE - TOTAL SPORTS, State and territory - 1995, 1999 and 2005-06
Attendance — total sports, state and territory — 1995, 1999 and 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)


MOST ATTENDED SPORTS

The three most popular sports attended by South Australians in the 12 months prior to interview were Australian Rules football (31%), motor sports (14%) and horse racing (8%). Only 5% of South Australians attended outdoor cricket and only 4% attended a game of outdoor soccer. Australian Rules football was also the most attended sport in South Australia in 1995 and 1999.

Sports attendance for the total Australian population also reflected the popularity of Australian Rules football, with 16% of the population attending the sport at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Nationally, horse racing had the second highest rate of sports attendance (13%). Motor sports and Rugby League were the third most attended sports across Australia with 9% each, followed by outdoor cricket (5%). Australian Rules football was also the most attended sport nationally in 1995 and 1999.

SPORTS ATTENDANCE, South Australia and Australia - 2005-06
Sports attendance, South Australia and Australira — 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)

Of all states and territories, South Australia had the highest attendance rate at Australian Rules football with 31%. This was slightly higher than the 30% of Tasmanians who attended at least one game and 28% of Victorians.

AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE, State and territory - 2005-06
Australian rules football attendance, state and territory — 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)

FREQUENCY OF ATTENDANCE

Australian Rules football, motor sports and horse racing were the three most attended sports in South Australia in 2005-06. However, the frequency of attendance at these sports was quite different. Of the 31% of South Australians who attended an Australian Rules football game in the 12 months prior to interview, 44% attended on six or more occasions and a further 23% attended 3-5 times. While motor sports was the second most popular sport in South Australia in 2005-06, 75% of those who attended only attended once or twice in the 12 months prior to interview. Similarly, 72% of those who attended a horse racing event only attended once or twice. This reflects the nature of sporting attendances at motor sports and horse racing events in South Australia with significant interest in annual sporting events such as the V8 Supercars, the Oakbank Horse Racing Carnival and the Adelaide Cup Horse Racing Carnival.

A similar trend was evident at the national level. Of the 13% of Australians who attended a horse racing event in the 12 months prior to interview, 70% only attended once or twice. Similarly, of the 9% of Australians who attended a motor sports event, 69% only attended once or twice. Of the 16% of Australians who attended an Australian Rules football game, 34% attended 6 times or more.

FREQUENCY OF ATTENDANCE, South Australia - 2005-06
Frequency of attendance, South Australia — 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)


ATTENDANCE BY SEX

More males than females in South Australia attended sporting events in the 12 months prior to interview. Males had an attendance rate of 57% compared to 41% for females. At the national level, 52% of males and 37% of females attended a sports event.

In South Australia, the greatest gender differences were evident for Australian Rules football attendance with 37% of males attending compared to 25% of females, and also for motor sport attendance with 19% of males attending compared to 9% of females.

SPORT ATTENDANCE, By sex, South Australia - 2005-06
Sport attendance, by sex, South Australia — 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)
Note: attendance rates are suppressed for some sports due to high relative standard errors.

For the total Australian population, the most marked differences between male and female attendance were for AFL (19% of males compared to 13% of females), motor sports (13% of males compared to 6% of females) and Rugby League (12% of males compared to 7% of females).

SPORT ATTENDANCE, By sex, Australia - 2005-06
Sport attendance, by sex, Australia — 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)


ATTENDANCE BY AGE

Attendance at sporting events in South Australia declined with increasing age, with only 27% of people aged 65 and over attending sport compared to 69% of people aged 15-17 years. Sports attendance across Australia showed a similar pattern, although attendance was slightly higher in the 18-24 year age group (57%) than in the 15-17 year age group (55%). Only 23% of Australians aged 65 and over attended a sport in the 12 months prior to interview.

SPORT ATTENDANCE, Age - 2005-06
Sport attendance, age — 2005–06
Source:Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)



References:

Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0)
Information Paper: Measuring Social Capital - An Australian Framework and Indicators,2004 (cat. no. 1378.0)

Footnote:

This article presents results from the 2005-06 Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) relating to attendance at sporting events. Information on this topic was previously collected in the 1999 and 1995 Monthly Population Survey (MPS). Data for 1999 and 1995 are included in this article for comparative purposes. However, care should be taken when comparing results from these surveys as the methodology used in each of these surveys differed and this may affect the validity of the comparisons.

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