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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Culture and recreation >> Children's participation in organised cultural activities

A survey of children's activities in the 12 months to April 2003 found 29% of children aged 5-14 years (780,400 children) participated in at least one of four selected organised cultural activities outside of school hours.

Girls were more than twice as likely as boys (43% compared with 17%) to participate in at least one of these activities (table 12.22). Girls were also more likely than boys to be involved in two or more of the selected activities (12% of girls compared with 2% of boys). The rate of children's participation in at least one of the organised cultural activities ranged from 33% in Western Australia to 25% in the Northern Territory.

Playing a musical instrument was the most popular of the selected cultural activities (17%), followed by dancing (12%), singing (5%) and drama (4%). The activity with the highest ratio of girls to boys was dancing, with 14 times more girls participating than boys.


12.22 CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN SELECTED ORGANISED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a) - 2003

Participation rate

Age (years)

5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
All children
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Males
Playing a musical instrument
4.8
4.5
7.3
13.8
16.0
17.5
22.1
14.9
15.0
15.2
13.2
Singing
*1.2
*1.2
*1.1
3.2
3.3
*2.4
6.1
*1.4
*1.9
*1.2
2.3
Dancing
**0.5
*1.3
*1.8
*1.9
*1.4
*2.6
2.9
*1.3
*1.6
*1.0
1.6
Drama
**0.5
*1.8
*1.3
3.3
*2.3
3.5
3.3
*2.5
*2.0
*2.7
2.3
Total(b)
6.4
8.3
10.3
18.2
20.6
22.4
27.6
16.9
17.9
18.8
16.8
Females
Playing a musical instrument
5.3
9.4
17.2
21.1
30.1
23.9
27.9
26.9
23.8
19.6
20.7
Singing
*1.9
4.5
6.2
6.1
10.6
8.2
9.9
7.8
7.1
7.8
7.0
Dancing
26.9
29.3
26.6
25.3
23.2
19.9
28.4
23.9
19.4
15.3
23.8
Drama
*2.3
4.5
5.3
5.8
7.2
6.3
8.8
8.2
5.8
8.2
6.3
Total(b)
30.2
37.9
41.5
44.6
49.7
43.2
51.8
48.4
43.2
36.3
42.8
Persons
Playing a musical instrument
5.0
6.8
12.1
17.4
22.8
20.6
24.9
20.8
19.3
17.4
16.8
Singing
*1.5
2.8
3.6
4.6
6.9
5.2
7.9
4.5
4.4
4.5
4.6
Dancing
13.3
14.9
13.9
13.3
12.0
11.0
15.3
12.4
10.3
8.0
12.4
Drama
*1.4
3.1
3.3
4.5
4.7
4.9
6.0
5.3
3.8
5.4
4.3
Total(b)
18.0
22.7
25.5
31.0
34.8
32.5
39.4
32.3
30.3
27.3
29.5

(a) Outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April 2003.
(b) The sum of activities do not add to the total because some children were involved in more than one activity.

Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2003 (4901.0).


During the 12 months to April 2003, 94% of those children who were involved in dancing had lessons, while 80% of those involved in drama, 78% of those playing a musical instrument, and 70% of those involved in singing had lessons.

Changes in participation since 2000

While the overall picture of children's participation did not change dramatically between 2000 and 2003 - 29.4% of children participated in at least one of the four selected organised cultural activities in the 12 months to April 2000 compared with 29.5% in 2003 - there were some interesting differences in the participation rates for girls and boys.

Participation in organised cultural activities varied markedly between boys and girls in 2000, and the differences became even more pronounced in 2003. While the girls' participation rate increased from 40% to 43% (driven mainly by greater involvement in dancing), the participation rate for boys fell from 20% to 17%, largely as a result of the decrease in boys playing a musical instrument (table 12.23).


12.23 CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN SELECTED ORGANISED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a)

2000
2003


Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
'000
%
'000
%

Males
Playing a musical instrument
213.8
15.8
179.0
13.2
Singing
38.9
2.9
31.6
2.3
Dancing
22.9
1.7
22.2
1.6
Drama
42.8
3.2
31.5
2.3
Total(b)
266.8
19.7
228.5
16.8
Females
Playing a musical instrument
260.1
20.2
266.5
20.7
Singing
85.6
6.7
90.9
7.0
Dancing
251.1
19.5
307.1
23.8
Drama
79.0
6.1
81.0
6.3
Total(b)
510.9
39.7
552.0
42.8

(a) Outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April.
(b) The sum of activities do not add to the total because some children were involved in more than one activity.

Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2003 (4901.0).


Details about children's participation in organised sports and other leisure activities are provided in Children's participation in organised sport and Children's participation in selected leisure activities.

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