4921.0 - Participation in Selected Cultural Activities, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/02/2012  First Issue
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


Data on the Cultural Participation topic (also referred to as the Participation in Selected Cultural Activities Survey) were collected as part of the 2010–11 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). The MPHS is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect annual statistics on a small number of self–contained topics. The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes members of the permanent defence forces; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from census and estimated resident populations; overseas residents in Australia; and members of non–Australian defence forces (and their dependants). Refer to Labour Force Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for further information regarding the LFS. In addition, the 2010–11 MPHS excluded people living in very remote parts of Australia and people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities).

In the Participation in Selected Cultural Activities component of the MPHS, respondents aged 15 years and over were asked questions about their participation in selected cultural activities, including performing arts, singing or playing a musical instrument, dancing, writing, visual art activities and craft activities. The type of information collected included characteristics of participants, the number of selected cultural activities in which people participated, whether payment was received and the type of payment. Information about reasons for participation and barriers to participation were also collected. Information was collected from one person selected at random in each selected household.


The MPHS is collected annually with enumeration undertaken over the financial year period from July to June. As the survey reference period was the 12 months prior to the survey interview during 2010–11, the data relate to participation in activities at some time between July 2009 and June 2011. In the 2010–11 MPHS, the Cultural Participation topic was collected for the first time. Generally, data from the MPHS are released approximately 6–8 months after they have been collected. The Cultural Participation topic is scheduled to be collected again in the 2013–14 MPHS.


The Cultural Participation questions comprised a sample of 26,405 fully responding households, which represented a response rate of 81%.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 the difference will be less than two standard errors. Measures of the relative standard error for this survey are included with this release.

The LFS, and consequently the MPHS, is primarily designed to provide estimates for the whole of Australia and, secondly, for each state and territory. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia is unlikely to impact on state and territory aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people account for about 23% of the population.


The ABS conducted a Survey of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities as part of the Monthly Population Survey in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007, and as part of the Population Survey Monitor in 1998–99. Information was collected about the number and basic demographic characteristics of people involved in paid or unpaid work in selected culture and leisure activities over a 12 month period.

Differences in survey methodology and enumeration periods, as well as changes to many of the questions being asked, mean that the 2010–11 Participation in Selected Cultural Activities data collected via the MPHS are not comparable with data from the earlier Surveys of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities. Participation in selected cultural activities data are expected to be collected every three years using the MPHS.


To aid in the interpretation of the Cultural Participation data, detailed information on concepts, definitions, terminology and other technical aspects of the survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.


All tables and associated RSEs are available in an Excel spreadsheet and can be accessed from Downloads.

Additional tables may also be available on request. Downloads also includes an Excel spreadsheet containing a complete list of the data items available. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

In addition to the data available in the Excel spreadsheets, other tables will be able to be produced using Survey TableBuilder, an online tool for creating tables and graphs. Survey TableBuilder for the 2010–11 Participation in Selected Cultural Activities topic is expected to be available in mid 2012.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.