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Newsletters - National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) - January 2005
 
 


A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
PAID AND UNPAID WORK IN ARTS AND CULTURE
SPORT AND NEWS DOMINATE THE TV AIRWAVES
SPORT AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
HOW MUCH ARE GOVERNMENTS SPENDING ON ARTS AND CULTURE?
ALL ABOUT ARTS AND CULTURE IN AUSTRALIA
BOOK PUBLISHING
BOOK RETAILING
WHO IS VISITING OUR NATURAL HERITAGE AREAS?
SURFING (THE WEB) FOR HERITAGE AND ARTS
NCCRS CONTACT POINTS


A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Happy New Year to all readers, and I hope you have come back from the Christmas break refreshed, as I have, after a healthy dose of holiday recreation and culture. Australians' involvement in the arts and culture was the subject of a recent ABS publication (as summarised in this newsletter). The same survey asked about volunteer involvement in sport (coaching, umpiring, administrating, etc.) so look out for the publication that will be released next month (Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity (cat. no. 6285.0)).

This newsletter reports on recently released data related to involvement in arts and sport by people with disabilities, and also on visits to heritage areas by Australians. These are just a few of the many ABS data sources that shed light on various aspects of sport and culture. The publication, Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview (cat. no. 4172.0), is a "must have" if you need a reference to ABS data sources in this area (note that a similar reference for sport was released earlier last year).

While these many pieces of data are useful on their own terms, it is difficult to interpret them all together. How do we assemble the jigsaw to answer the big questions - e.g.: what factors determine whether people participate in arts, culture or sport? Later in the year we will release our findings from some analytical projects, using multi-variate techniques, which we hope will provide a more robust interpretation of the factors influencing sport participation and non-participation, for both children and adults. While the focus to date has been on sport, we plan to extend this to analysing arts and culture activities later in the year.

There are many other projects in progress, or being developed and debated - more than can be expressed in these few paragraphs. If you want to find out more, please be in touch. We are all looking forward to an interesting and busy year.

Lisa Conolly
Director

PAID AND UNPAID WORK IN ARTS AND CULTURE

Ira Gershwin wrote "Nice work if you can get it" way back in 1937 and it seems that a growing number of Australians in 2004 agree - when it comes to working in a range of culture and leisure activities.

According to the latest ABS survey on the subject, the Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities Survey, almost 2.9 million people aged 15 and over were involved in paid or unpaid work related to selected culture or leisure activities in the year ended April 2004, up from 2.5 million people in 2001 when the survey was last conducted.

In 2004, activities undertaken by relatively large numbers of people included visual arts (789,900 people), writing (556,500), craft activities (542,700), and performing arts (423,900).

Of people working in the selected culture or leisure activities in 2004, one-third (957,500) received some financial or in-kind payment for that work, and the majority (64%) of those people reported that the activities were part of their main job. Thus, only 21% of the 2.9 million people involved in the selected culture or leisure activities had undertaken it for payment as part of their main job.

The ABS's main measures of work, derived from the Labour Force Survey and the Census of Population and Housing, focus on a person's main job in the week before the survey. As work in arts or cultural fields is often intermittent, and undertaken for low or no pay, the Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities Survey is an important source of information about people working in these fields, but who are not 'counted' in those other surveys.

Further information is available in Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2004 (cat. no. 6281.0).

SPORT AND NEWS DOMINATE THE TV AIRWAVES

The latest ABS survey on Television, Film and Video Production in Australia shows that sport, news and current affairs made up three-quarters of the 54,743 commercial broadcast hours for first release production made specifically for television during 2002-03.

News and current affairs ($351m) and sport ($305.1m) incurred the highest total production costs, but when averaged across the hours produced proved to be among the 'cheapest' productions to make ($13,000 per hour for sport and $20,000 per hour for news and current affairs). At the other end of the scale, the television programs with the highest average hourly production costs (Drama at $247,000 per hour and Situation and Sketch Comedy at $223,000 per hour) accounted for only 1.3% of commercial broadcast hours for first release production made specifically for television.

Profitability was markedly different between commercial free-to-air and subscription TV broadcasters. The 27 businesses engaged in commercial free-to-air broadcasting reported combined operating profits before tax of $658.9m in 2002-03, representing an operating profit margin of almost 18%. In contrast, the six businesses in the relatively new field of subscription broadcasting recorded combined operating losses of $451.5m for 2002-03, representing an operating profit margin of -33.6%.

The Film and Video production industry fell between these two extremes in terms of profitability, with 2,174 businesses sharing operating profits before tax of $91.7m, resulting in an operating profit margin of just under 6%.

Further information is available in Television, Film and Video Production, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8679.0).

SPORT AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

One in five people (20%) in Australia had a disability in 2003 according to the latest ABS survey on Disability, Ageing and Carers, a rate which remains virtually unchanged from 1998 when the survey was previously conducted.

What has this got to do with culture and recreation? It may not be well known that, in addition to providing comprehensive information on such issues as the nature of disabilities, assistance needed and received, and relationship to the main carer, the survey also provides some information about leisure activities undertaken by people with disabilities both away from home and at home.

The rate at which people with a disability and aged 5 years and over participated in cultural and sporting activities away from their homes in 2003 has remained broadly similar to 1998, with almost three quarters (72%) participating in at least one of the specified activities during the 12 months prior to the survey being conducted.

The cultural or sporting activities with the highest participation rates were attending the cinema (43%), visiting a library (34%), taking part in sport or physical recreation (29%) and attending a sporting event as a spectator (29%).

For at-home activities, in the 3 months before the survey about 15% of people with a disability and aged 5 years and over undertook art or craftwork for or with other people.

Further details are available in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2003: Summary of Findings (cat. no. 4430.0).

HOW MUCH ARE GOVERNMENTS SPENDING ON ARTS AND CULTURE?

According to the latest report on cultural funding, total government funding for cultural activities was $4.9 billion in 2002-03, equating to almost $250 for every man, woman and child in Australia.

State and territory governments collectively contributed the most funding to cultural activities ($2,238m or 45% of total government funding), directed primarily towards heritage activities such as nature parks and reserves ($988m), art and other museums ($431m) and libraries and archives ($358m). In contrast, the Australian Government's contribution ($1,671m or 34% of the total) was focused mainly on arts activities, particularly broadcasting and film ($980m), although art and other museums in the heritage sector also received substantial funding ($257m). Local government also contributed $1,025m to cultural activities in 2002-03, however a detailed breakdown on their cultural priorities was not available.

A report prepared by NCCRS for the Cultural Ministers' Council Statistics Working Group (CMC SWG), and soon to be available on their Web site at http://www.dcita.gov.au/swg, also provides substantial data dating back to 1999-2000. These historical data provide both an overview of the trend upwards during this period, during which total cultural funding increased by $860.9m or 21%, as well as providing a detailed year-by-year breakdown of cultural funding allocations by the Australian Government and each of the states and territories.

Further information is available in Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 4183.0).

ALL ABOUT ARTS AND CULTURE IN AUSTRALIA

Arts and Culture in Australia: a Statistical Overview, 2004 is the third in a series of ABS publications which bring together a range of data from both ABS and non-ABS sources about cultural activities and cultural industries. As the name implies, it presents an overview of cultural data on both a topical basis (e.g. participation in cultural activities) and a sector basis (e.g. libraries and archives). The following summary provides an indication of the breadth of topics covered in the publication.

TOPICS

Participation and attendance
Tourism
Household expenditure
Funding by government and business
Employment and other work
Output of cultural industries
Cultural trade
    PROFILES OF CULTURAL SECTORS

    Museums
    Environmental heritage
    Libraries and archives
    Literature and print media
    Performing arts
    Music composition, distribution and publishing
    Visual arts and crafts
    Design
    Film and video
    Broadcasting
    Arts education

    Further information is available in Arts and Culture in Australia: a Statistical Overview, 2004 (cat. no. 4172.0).

    BOOK PUBLISHING

    The results of the 2002-03 Book Publishers Survey were released in August 2004 - the latest in a series of ABS publications on the book publishing industry, which dates back to 1994. The 2002-03 survey collected data from 236 businesses whose main activity was book publishing, as well as a further 10 businesses which generated $2m or more in income from book publishing, even though this was not their main activity.

    These 246 businesses sold a combined total of 114.4 million books in 2002-03, contributing to a total income of $1,578.6m, and employing 5,340 people. While the number of books sold was 12% less than in the preceding financial year, the industry's profitability actually improved, with the operating profit before tax growing by 76% to $88.4m, and the profit margin increasing by 2.3 percentage points to 5.6%.

    The publication also includes longer-term historical data dating back to 1994 on selected aspects of the industry, which highlight some interesting trends:
    • Apart from a slight dip in 2000-01, the total sales of books has generally risen steadily from $841.7m in 1994 to $1,369.4m in 2002-03;
    • The increase in the value of books sold has not been reflected in the number of books sold, which has fluctuated over the period, peaking at 130.6 million in 1995-96 and falling to its lowest level of 104.3 million in 2000-01;
    • The proportion (by value) of Australian titles sold has increased from 59% of total book sales in 2000-01 to 64% 2002-03;
    • The proportion (by value) of books exported has increased from 8% of total book sales in 1995-96 to 15% in 2002-03.

    Further information is available in Book Publishers, Australia 2002-03 (cat. no. 1363.0).

    BOOK RETAILING

    The latest ABS report on the state of play in the Australian book selling industry was released in September 2004.

    The 2002-03 Book Retailers survey found that there were 1,415 employing businesses in Australia that sold almost $1,275m worth of new books during the financial year. Most of these were sold in bookshops ($947.3m), with the balance divided amongst department stores ($188.9m), newsagents ($122.2m), supermarkets and other retailers ($16.5m).

    A total of more than 75 million new books were sold by book retailers to the public, with bookshops accounting for around 58% (43.7 million books) of sales, department stores 27% (20.5 million), newsagents 9% (6.5 million) and supermarkets and other retailers 6% (4.5 million). This reflects a considerable variation in the average sale price of books across the different types of retailers, ranging from a high of $22 for bookshops to $4 for supermarkets and other retailers.

    Further details are available in Book Retailers, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 1371.0).

    WHO IS VISITING OUR NATURAL HERITAGE AREAS?

    In March 2004, nearly 8 million (52%) Australians aged 18 years and over reported that they had visited a World Heritage Area, National or State Park in the 12 months prior to the survey. This proportion is slightly lower than that previously reported in 1998 and 2001 (54%) and significantly less than in 1992 when almost two in three Australians (63%) had visited any one of these areas in the 12 months prior to the survey.

    People who made a trip to these areas were most likely to be between the ages of 25 and 44 or those belonging to a household comprising a couple with dependent children (61%). Those least likely to visit a World Heritage Area or a park were persons aged 65 years and over (30%) and those belonging to a single person household (44%).

    As with the 1998 and 2001 surveys, the reason most often cited for not visiting a World Heritage Area, National or State Park was lack of time (36%), followed by age or health conditions (17%), and a lack of interest (12%), while a significant proportion of Australians offered no reason for not visiting such a park (16%).

    Further information is available in Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, Australia, March 2004 (cat. no. 4602.0).

    SURFING (THE WEB) FOR HERITAGE AND ARTS

    The 2005 edition of Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) was released on 21 January, 2005. Each year, NCCRS staff compile the Culture and Recreation chapter of the year book. One of the main NCCRS contributors this year was Frank Scherl, who writes:

    "Earlier this year, I had the privilege of working on a chapter of the 2005 ABS Year Book. One of the more rewarding aspects of this particular project, was the opportunity to explore a range of Internet Web-sites that would usually fall well outside the scope of my day-to-day work. As a journalist who earns his daily bread writing about statistics, the five sites listed below added some much-appreciated spice to my otherwise steady diet of pure facts and figures. Enjoy."

    Zoos in Australia, <http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/zoo>

    Department of the Environment and Heritage - parks and reserves, <http://www.deh.gov.au/parks>

    ScreenSound Australia, <http://www.screensound.gov.au>

    Documenting a Democracy, <http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au>

    Australia dancing, <http://www.australiadancing.org>

    NCCRS CONTACT POINTS

    Email: <nccrs@abs.gov.au>
    Culture Topics: Chris Giddings on (08) 8237 7326
    Sport Topics: Colin Speechley on (08) 8237 7363
    Director: Lisa Conolly on (08) 8237 7402
    Fax: (08) 8237 7366

    Address:
    National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics
    Australian Bureau of Statistics
    GPO Box 2272
    ADELAIDE, SA, 5001

    ABS Internet site: <http://www.abs.gov.au>



    Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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