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4172.0 - Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/01/2013   
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ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION

ATTENDANCE AT SELECTED CULTURAL VENUES AND EVENTS

In 1991, the ABS conducted its first Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events. The survey has been repeated several times with the most recent results published in Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia 2009-10 (cat. no. 4114.0).

The survey results show that in 2009-10, 67% of Australian adults (i.e. those aged 15 years and over) attended the Cinema at least once in the 12 months prior to interview, making the Cinema the most popular cultural venue. Other commonly attended venues included Zoological parks and aquariums (an attendance rate of 37%), Botanic gardens (35%) and Libraries (34%). Of the surveyed cultural events, Popular music concerts had the highest attendance rate, with 30% of Australians aged 15 years and over attending at least one concert in the 12 month period.

Characteristics of attendees

Attendance rates at cultural venues and events were higher for females than males in 2009-10. The difference was most apparent for Libraries (41% of females compared with 26% of males) and Musicals and operas (21% compared with 12%).

PERSONS ATTENDING SELECTED CULTURAL VENUES AND EVENTS(a), By sex - 2009-10


Attendance patterns at cultural venues and events varied considerably for different age groups. People aged 15-17 years of age were most likely to attend the Cinema (93%), while people aged 35-44 years of age were most likely to visit Zoological parks and aquariums (51%). People aged 45-54 and 55-64 years of age were more likely to attend Musicals and operas (19% and 20% respectively) while those aged 55-64 and 65-74 years of age were most likely to attend Classical music concerts (13% and 14% respectively).

Frequency of attendance

Some cultural venues and events were more likely to attract repeat visitors than others. Over two-thirds (70%) of Library attendees reported visiting at least five times during the 12 month period prior to interview. Cinemas were also popular with over half (53%) the patrons having attended at least five times in the preceding 12 months. The venues or events where the majority of people attending had been only once in the 12 month period were Other performing arts (with an attendance rate of 64%), Dance performances (56%), Musicals and operas (55%) and Museums (52%).


Attendance rates over time

The attendance rates over time can be examined using data from the survey of Attendance at selected cultural venues and events. There has been an increase in the attendance rates for Art galleries, Museums, Botanic gardens and Cinemas between the last two surveys (in 2005-06 and 2009-10). The largest increase was in the attendance rate for Art galleries, up 3.2 percentage points.

More information about the previous statistics is available from Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4114.0) on the ABS website.

Attendance by people with a disability

The survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers asked respondents about their attendance at selected cultural venues and events. In 2009, 2.4 million or 60% of people aged 5 years and over with a disability attended at least one of the selected cultural venues or events. This represents a decrease of 2% from the 2003 attendance rate (62%). In 2009, females with a disability reported higher attendance rates than males with a disability in all selected cultural venues or events. Cinemas attracted the highest rate of attendance among both males (38%) and females (41%), followed by Libraries (27% and 32% respectively).

People with a disability aged 65 years and over had the lowest attendance rates across all activities. Going to the cinema was the most popular activity for those aged 5 to 64 years of age with the highest rate of attendance found in the 14 to 24 years age group (73%). A similar proportion (24%) of people aged 65 and above visited the library or a cinema.

PARTICIPATION IN CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Parental involvement in cultural activities as part of children's informal learning

Parents play an important role in children's informal learning. The ABS survey of Childhood Education and Care, Australia captures data on parental involvement in selected cultural activities that form part of children's informal learning in the seven days prior to interview.

The survey findings show that in the last week of June 2011, 80% (or 701,000 parents) read from a book or told a story to their children aged 0-2 years, making it the most popular activity. The proportion of parents that had read from a book or told a story each day for seven days prior to interview was 57%, up 6% from 2008.

The number of books that are in the home was also reported in the survey. The proportion of homes that had at least 25 children's books was 73%.

The survey also found that in the last week of June 2011, 77% of parents played music, sang songs, danced or did other musical activities with their 0 to 2 year old children. Just over half (52%) of respondents assisted their children aged 0-2 years with drawing, writing or other creative activities.

Among parents involved in cultural activities with their 3-8 year olds, 96% told stories, read or listened to the child read in the previous week and 49% were involved in this activity each day for the previous seven days. More parents watched TV, videos and DVDs with their children (89%) than were involved in music, art or other creative activities (65% of parents).

There were some differences in the level of parental participation across the states and territories. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion (89%) of parents who read from a book or told a story to their children aged 0-2 years, followed by South Australia (84%). Whereas the Northern Territory had the lowest proportion at 76%.

Queensland had the highest proportion (64%) of parents who read from a book and told a story to their children each day for seven days to the end of June 2011. This is above the national average of 57%.

The proportion of parents who told stories, read or listened to their 3 to 8 year old children was similar across all states and territories. However, Victoria (53%), Western Australia (52%) and Tasmania (52%) were the only states to have more than one half of the parents involved in this activity each day for seven days to the end of June 2011.

Tasmania (73%), the Australian Capital Territory (70%) and Northern Territory (70%) had the highest proportion of parents who were involved in music art or other creative activity with children aged 3 to 8 years. New South Wales had the lowest proportion at 61%.

Additional information on the involvement of parents in cultural activities is available in the datacube attached to the publication Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011 (cat. no. 4402.0).



Children's participation in organised cultural activities

Many children take part in cultural activities during school hours often as part of compulsory lessons. Some children also undertake cultural activities in their own time.

According to the 2012 ABS survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, 35% of children aged 5-14 years were involved in at least one of four selected organised cultural activities outside of school hours. In the 12 months to April 2012, Playing a musical instrument was the most popular of the selected cultural activities (490,200 children), followed by Dancing (418,100), Singing (143,200) and Drama (130,300). Participation rates of girls (19%) were higher than that of boys (16%) for Playing a musical instrument, and girls were much more likely to take part in Dancing than boys with participation rates of 27% and 4%, respectively.

CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(A) — 2012



Reading

The 2012 survey of Children's Participation in Selected Cultural and Leisure Activities was conducted in regard to the activities of 5-14 year olds and showed that girls were more likely to read for pleasure than boys at any age. During the two-week reference period, 77% of girls read for pleasure compared with 65% of boys. The average time spent by girls who read for pleasure during the two-week period was 6.9 hours, compared with 6.3 hours for boys. Additional data on reading for pleasure is available in the datacube for the Children's Participation in Selected Cultural and Leisure Activities (4901.0) publication.

READING FOR PLEASURE(a), By age and sex — 2012




In 2006, the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (cat. no. 4228.0) found that reading was a favourite activity for 61% of people aged 15 years and over. The activity was a favourite for 73% of females surveyed, compared with 50% of males.

More than three quarters (77%) of those aged 15 years and over read a newspaper at least once a week with 58% and 48% reading magazines and books respectively. People likely to read more frequently were those in the 45-64 years age group and those with university or higher qualifications.

ADULT READING PREFERENCES(a)(b), By selected characteristics - 2006
Newspapers at least once a week
Books at least once a week
Magazines at least once a week
%
%
%

Male
78.6
39.2
55.1
Female
75.9
56.1
60.5
Age group (years)
15-29
67.7
42.8
55.1
30-44
78.8
48.6
57.8
45-64
82.4
50.4
62.2
65 and over
82.0
49.6
50.3
Educational attainment
University or higher
84.5
64.5
66.5
Trade or diploma
79.4
47.0
59.2
Year 12
77.1
48.8
59.4
Total
77.3
47.7
57.8

(a) Persons aged 15 years and over.
(b) In the 12 months prior to interview.
Source: ABS data available on request, Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, 2006.


INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's participation in cultural activities are important elements of traditions and community sustainability, as well as spiritual and social well being. Cultural activities include arts and crafts, music, dance or theatre and writing or telling stories.

The 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) found that of these selected cultural activities, Arts and crafts was the most popular, with 17% (almost 56,600) of Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over taking part at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Participation rates were similar for both age groups interviewed, with 28,400 (16%) persons aged 15 to 34 years and almost 28,200 (18%) persons aged 35 years and over having participated in Arts and crafts. Participation in Writing or telling stories was higher for Indigenous persons aged 35 years and over (20%), compared with 12% for those aged 15 to 34 years.

INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), By age — 2008


Female participation rates were higher for Arts and crafts (20%) and Writing or telling stories (17%) compared with males (14% for both activities).This pattern was evident across both the 15 to 34 year old and 35 years and over age groups. Male participation was higher in Music, dance or theatre (12%) compared with females (10%).


INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), By sex — 2008





In 2008, participation in selected cultural activities was higher for those Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over living in remote and very remote areas compared with those living in non-remote areas. For Arts and crafts, 22% of Indigenous persons living in remote areas of Australia participated in this activity compared with 16% living in non-remote areas. Of those Indigenous persons living in remote areas, 21% participated in Writing or telling stories (16% for Music, dance or theatre) compared with 14% living in non-remote areas (9% for Music, dance or theatre).


INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), By remoteness — 2008





Useful links
Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia 2009-10 (cat. no. 4114.0).
Disability, Ageing and Carers (cat. no. 4430.0)
Childhood Education and Care, Australia (cat. no. 4402.0)
Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0)
Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, 2006 (4228.0)
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (cat. no. 4714.0)


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