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4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1999-2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/10/2000   
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A RELEASE

October 24, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
146/2000

Australians less active - ABS

Fewer Australians were participating in sport and physical activities in the 12 months before interview in 1999-2000*, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Some 54.7 per cent of Australian adults had participated in sport or physical activities. This was down from 59.4 per cent in 1998-99. Participation declined in every State and Territory except for Western Australia.

The highest participation rates were in the Australian Capital Territory (65.3 per cent of people aged 18 or over) and Western Australia (64.5 per cent), while the lowest were in South Australia (50.1 per cent), Tasmania (51.3 per cent) and New South Wales (52.7 per cent).

PARTICIPATION RATES IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES, States and Territories (a)

1998-99
1999-2000

%
%
New South Wales
58.4
52.7
Victoria
58.2
54.7
Queensland
60.9
54.5
South Australia
56.9
50.1
Western Australia
63.4
64.5
Tasmania
58.9
51.3
Northern Territory (b)
60.5
55.7
Australian Capital Territory
73.2
65.3
Australia
59.4
54.7


(a) Percentage of the civilian population, aged 18 years or over, who had participated in sport or physical activities during a 12-month period prior to interview in the year shown.
(b) Includes predominantly urban areas only.
Source: Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. No. 4177.0)

Proportionally more men (58.5 per cent) than women (50.9 per cent) participated in sport and physical activities, and for both sexes, participation rates had decreased since 1998-99.

Participation was much more likely among younger adults than older adults, with rates ranging from 73.5 per cent for the 18-24 year age group to 33.8 per cent for the 65 years and over age group. A decrease in participation was observed for each of the age groups, with the largest decrease occurring in the 45-54 year age group (48.5 per cent in 1999-2000 compared with 56.4 per cent in 1998-99).

The ten most popular activities undertaken by Australian adults were walking (18.8 per cent participation rate), swimming (13.9 per cent), aerobics/fitness (10.5 per cent), golf (9.6 per cent), tennis (7.4 per cent), fishing (5.3 per cent), cycling (4.9 per cent), running (4.7 per cent), tenpin bowling (2.9 per cent) and netball (2.7 per cent).

Golf was the most popular activity among men (15.6 per cent participating) while walking was clearly favoured by women (23.8 per cent).

Details are in Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1999-2000 (cat. no. 4177.0) available in all ABS bookshops. The summary of the main findings are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

*Note to Editors: These statistics were collected from August 1999 to May 2000 and thus do not reflect any possible increase in sports participation that may have resulted from the Olympics.

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