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4172.0 - Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/06/2007  Reissue
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A survey conducted by ACNielsen for the government book promotion, Books Alive, in June 2001, found that 78% of people aged 18 years and over in Australia read for pleasure every day or on most days of the week. About 11% read occasionally during the month, 7% only read every few months while 4% never read. People more likely to read frequently were: females; older people; and those with post-school qualifications.

Care must be taken in comparing data from the Time Use Survey with data from the ACNielsen survey due to differences in survey methodology, definitions and reference periods.

1.7 PERSONS AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER WHO READ FOR PLEASURE, By selected characteristics - June 2001

Percentage who read every day or most days of the week

Age group (years)
65 and over
Educational attainment
University or higher
Trade or diploma
Year 12
Some secondary

Australia Council, A National Survey of Reading, Buying and Borrowing Books for Pleasure, conducted for Books Alive by ACNielsen.

The survey also found that the most popular reading material was newspapers, with 91% of people having read a newspaper for pleasure in the week before interview. This compares with 72% of people who had read books for pleasure and 63% who had read magazines in the same period.

A 2006 survey conducted by the ABS on the activities of 5-14 year olds showed that girls were more likely to read for pleasure than boys at any age. Overall, 80% of girls read for pleasure during the two-week reference period compared with 69% of boys.

Girls also read for longer than boys - the average time spent by girls who read for pleasure during the two-week period was 7.9 hours, compared with 6.6 hours for boys.

1.8 Children aged 5-14 years who read for pleasure(a) - April 2006
Graph: Children aged 5–14 years who read for pleasure(a)—April 2006

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