Australian Bureau of Statistics

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4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/10/2009   
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INTRODUCTION


INTRODUCTION

In the 12 months to April 2009 there were approximately 2.7 million children aged 5 to 14 years in Australia within the scope of the survey (see Explanatory Notes). An estimated 63% (1.7 million children) had played a sport outside of school hours which had been organised by a school, club or association. During the same period, 34% (916,300) of children were involved in at least one of four selected cultural activities (playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing and drama) outside of school hours. The survey also collected data on attendance at cultural venues and events and found that 71% (1.9 million) of children had attended, outside of school hours, a public library, a museum or art gallery, or a performing arts event at least once in the 12 months to April 2009. (Table 1) An estimated 26% (713,800) of children did not take part in either organised sport or any of the selected cultural activities outside of school hours during the 12 month period. (Table 16)

In addition to cultural and sporting activities, data were collected about selected other activities. These 'other' activities were chosen for inclusion to provide an indication of the balance between sedentary activities (e.g. watching TV, DVDs or videos and other screen-based activities) and physical activities (e.g. bike riding). However, it is important to note that there are numerous other non-organised physical and sedentary activities which were not included, for example, surfing and trampolining. Similarly, involvement in art and craft was included to give some understanding of children's involvement in non-organised cultural activities. Reading for pleasure and homework or other study were also included. Involvement in these activities over a two week period ranged from 48% (1.3 million) of children for art and craft to 97% (2.7 million) of children who watched television, DVDs or videos. During the two school weeks prior to interview, 82% (2.2 million) of children did homework or other study outside of school hours. (Table 1)

The survey also collected information on Internet and mobile phone use. An estimated 79% (2.2 million) of children had accessed the Internet either during or outside of school hours in the 12 months prior to April 2009 and 31% (841,400) had a mobile phone. (Table 1)


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