4174.0 - Sports Attendance, Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/12/2003   
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December 2, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Numbers of Australians attending sport on the up

The number of adults who attended a sporting event increased from 6.5 million in 1999 to 7.0 million in 2002 according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. This represented an increase from 46% to 48% of the population aged 18 years and over.

Nearly half (48%) of Australians aged over 18 had attended at least one sporting event in 2002. The main sport attended was Australian rules football (17%). This was followed by horse racing (13%) and motor sports (10%).

The number of people attending Australian rules football increased from 2.3 million in 1999 to 2.5 million in 2002. Increases in attendance rates were also recorded for rugby union (up 255,800) and soccer (up 238,600).

More Australian males (4.0 million) than females (3.0 million) attended at least one sporting event and men had a higher attendance rate than women for most of the 15 main sports in the survey.

Over half a million more men went to Australian rules football than women and at least twice as many men attended motor sports, cricket and rugby union. Women attended netball (152,800) and outdoor hockey (63,300) more than men (66,900 and 43,500 respectively). Similar numbers of men and women attended tennis (192,500 and 201,000 respectively).

The Northern Territory had the highest attendance rate (57%) at the sports events covered by the survey in 2002, while the lowest attendance rate was recorded in New South Wales (44%).

Young Australians aged between 18-24 years (65%) were most likely to have attended a sporting event in 2002, with attendance declining in subsequent age groups.

Further details are in Sports Attendance, Australia (cat. no. 4174.0).