Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate this page
ABS Home
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Newsletters - National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) - October Quarter 2002



This newsletter provides highlights from a range of recent ABS data sources which may of interest to you. Most importantly, if you don't know where to start looking for relevant information about culture and recreation data, then make sure you have a look at our ABS Directory of Culture and Leisure Statistics-released in August this year-and freely available on the ABS web site.

Just this month data have also been released about the sports and physical recreation industries in Australia. We have been eagerly anticipating this release as it is six years since the industries were last surveyed in such detail by the ABS. An innovation in the latest collection has been the use of the industry classification in the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, rather than the less detailed Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification. This means that data are available for the first time on components of the sports industries such as health and fitness centres, and sports and physical recreation administration.

NCCRS’s annual publication on cultural funding by government was released in August. This is the 9th year for which NCCRS has collected these data. Our staff are busy compiling a complementary publication on funding of sport and physical recreation by government, which will be released in November. More details about that new collection, and of our new book retailing collection, which is also scheduled for release in November, will be provided in our January newsletter.

Lisa Conolly
Acting Director


The Directory of Culture and Leisure Statistics was released on the ABS Web site on 13th August 2002. The key aims of the directory are to provide a quick and easy reference to ABS sources of culture and leisure data, and provide information about the extent of data available from each data collection. The details provided about each collection's data items will assist users of culture and leisure data to determine whether a collection might meet their needs, and to prepare possible cross-tabulation specifications ready for discussion with ABS information consultants. Contact details are provided for each collection. Entries also provide information on the scope, frequency and history of a collection and the major publications that present data from the collection. The ABS developed this directory
with financial assistance from the Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group (CMC SWG) and the Recreation and Sport Industry Statistics Group (RSISG) of the Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council.

The Directory of Culture and Leisure Statistics (Cat. no. 1143.0.55.001) is a freely available Web-based product which can be viewed by clicking on ABS directories. There is a link to the directory from the Culture and Recreation Theme Page; or to find the directory from the home page of the ABS Web site, without going through the Culture and Recreation theme page, click on About Statistics, then Directory of Statistical Sources, open the twistie next to About the Directory of Statistical Sources, and click on Other ABS Directories.

For further information contact Heather Latz on 08 8237 7484 or


At the end of June 2001 there were 7,147 employing organisations involved in the provision of sport and physical recreation activities. This comprised: 1,034 horse and dog racing organisations; 667 health and fitness centres; 864 other sports and physical recreation venues; 756 sports and physical recreation administrative organisations; 1,937 sports and physical recreation clubs, teams and sports professionals; 1,259 other sports services; and 630 government organisations.

Of the non-government organisations, 3,668 were in the 'for profit' sector, and 2,849 were in the 'not for profit' sector, including all of the sport and recreation administrative organisations and 81% of the sports and physical recreation clubs, teams and sports professionals.

During 2000-01, the income of all organisations involved in the provision of sport and physical recreation activities totalled $8,466 million. This income included that generated by organisations involved in the 2000 Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games. Major income items included income from television and broadcasting rights ($1,349 million), income from admissions ($1,142 million), membership fees ($647 million), funding from government ($731 million) and net TAB distributions ($555 million).

Total expenses of the sport and recreation organisations were $8,608 million. Labour costs of $2,148 million accounted for 25% of total expenses.

At the end of June 2001, there were 98,267 persons employed in sport and physical recreation industries. Of these persons, 30,631 (31.2%) were employed as professional sportspersons, sports coaches, trainers or development officers. An additional 178,837 persons provided volunteer services for these organisations during June 2001.

Main features of Sports Industries, Australia, 2000-01 are available free of charge on this site.


Funding for cultural activities across all levels of government totalled $4.5 billion in 2000-01, a 10% increase from the previous financial year. The average cultural funding per person increased by $18 to $231.

State and territory governments provided the most cultural funding in 2000-01 ($1,942 million), up 8% from 1999-2000, with most funds allocated towards nature parks and reserves ($898 million), libraries and archives ($297 million) and museums other than art museums ($255 million).

Commonwealth Government cultural funding totalled $1,640 million in 2000-01, an increase of 13% compared with 1999-2000. As was the case in 1999-2000, radio and television services were the main area of funding, receiving $777 million. Museums other than art museums received the second largest amount of cultural funding from the Commonwealth Government ($307 million).

Local government provided $872 million for cultural activities in 2000-01, up 7% from 1999-2000. The main cultural activities to receive funding were libraries and archives ($459 million), public halls and civic centres ($133 million), art museums ($54 million) and other museums ($51 million).

Main features of Cultural Funding by Government, 2000-01 are available free of charge on this site.


In 2000-01, 104 million books were sold by book publishers and other businesses with major book publishing activity. The value of these book sales was $1,261 million. Approximately 87% ($1,098 million) of sales were to the domestic market while the remaining 13% ($163 million) were exported overseas, primarily to the United States of America ($55 million), New Zealand ($27 million) and the United Kingdom ($23 million).

Businesses involved in book publishing sold $1,250 million of printed books covering education ($487 million), nonfiction ($432 million), fiction ($180 million) and children's books ($151 million). A further $10 million of electronic and audio books were sold.

The 228 businesses involved in book publishing earned a total income of $1,361 million and had expenses of $1,322 million in 2000-01. The largest cost was for printing ($247 million or 19% of total expenses) followed by expenditure on wages and salaries ($224 million). The 20 largest book publishers (in terms of income) accounted for 76% of the total income, 74% of total expenses and 66% of total employment of businesses involved in book publishing.

There was a 19% decrease in the number of books sold in 2000-01 when compared with 1999-2000. While the overall income of businesses involved in book publishing was similar to 1999-2000, there was a fall in operating profit from $106 million in 1999-2000 to $63 million in 2000-01, which is a decrease in profit margin from 7.8% to 4.6%.

Main features of Book Publishers, Australia, 2000-01 are available free of charge at this site.


The ABS is pleased to announce that 2001 Census '2nd release' data were released on the 4th of September 2002, two months ahead of schedule. The 2nd release includes information on people's employment, method of travel to work, area of residence one and five years earlier, household income and family income.

Culture and recreation data users can now request customised tables showing how many people had their main job in a culture or recreation occupation or industry in the week prior to the 2001 Census, which was held on 7th August 2001. The census provides the most detailed occupation information collected by the ABS. For example, it can be used to find out how many fitness centre managers, tennis coaches, librarians or music teachers there were in Australia, your State or Territory, or even in your council area, in August last year.

For more information about census data that may be of interest to culture and recreation data users, see the entry on the Census of Population and Housing in the Directory of Culture and Leisure Statistics, which is freely accessible through the Culture and Recreation Theme Page on this site (see the article below). For complete details of all of the data items collected on the Census, the best reference publication is the 2001 Census Dictionary, which is freely available on this site. To request a customised table, contact ABS client services on 1300 135 070 or

NCCRS will soon be preparing publications on employment in culture, sport and recreation occupations and industries, using 2001 Census data, for release by mid-2003.


At the end of June 2001, there were 1,222 private, employing businesses operating 1,417 caravan park and camping ground establishments in Australia. This represented 21% of all accommodation businesses.

In addition, there were 22 government bodies (mainly local government) operating caravan parks. It should be noted that the majority of caravan parks owned by government are leased to private operators, which are included in the private business figures. For the remainder of this article, the total of 1,244 private businesses and government organisations operating caravan parks and camping grounds is referred to as the ‘caravan park sector’.

The total income of the caravan park sector in 2000-01 was $638 million of which the majority was received from accommodation. Takings from accommodations amounted to $491 million for private operators and $35 million for government-operated caravan parks. Other sources of income included takings from meals, sales of liquor and other beverages and sales of other goods.

There were 8,176 people employed in the caravan park sector at the end of June 2001, of which 98% worked in private caravan park businesses. Wages and salaries was the largest expense item for the caravan park sector, amounting to $123 million, or 23% of total expenses ($539 million). Average wages and salaries per employee was $16,000 for private caravan park and camping ground businesses and $23,400 for government-operated caravan parks and camping grounds.

Main features of Accommodation Industry, 2000-01 are available free of charge on this site.


With the aim of providing an overview of the work of the NCCRS, including advancements in the range, accessibility and quality of data, the centre has recently prepared a brief (12-page) paper, entitled 'ABS culture, sport and recreation statistics: current activities and future strategy'. The paper highlights key data collections and publications, and accomplishments in relation to statistical leadership; for example, development of the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, the Culture and Recreation Theme Page, and the Directory of Culture and Leisure Statistics. The paper concludes with a look at the planned future direction of NCCRS with regards to culture and recreation statistics, including work on information development plans, which will describe data gaps and identify priority areas for attention. The paper is available at An Overview of Culture and Recreation on the Culture and Recreation Theme Page on this site.

A similar, but much more detailed paper relating specifically to sport and recreation statistics, entitled ‘ABS Directions and Data Collections in the Area of Sport and Recreation’ is also available on the theme page under General Sport and Recreation. Preparation of this paper was prompted by one of the recommendations in the Commonwealth Government’s paper ‘Game Plan 2006’.


Some readers will know Nigel well, as he has worked with NCCRS for almost 10 years, and he has assisted many people to access sport and recreation data in that time. Nigel was a part of the ABS team that established our ABS sport and recreation section, and he has had a major role in developing many of the collections and publications that we have today. Nigel is moving to another section of the ABS, and his knowledge and humour will be missed!



Culture Topics: Chris Giddings on (08) 8237 7326

Sport Topics: Colin Speechley on (08) 8237 7363

Director: Adriana Vanden Heuvel on (08) 8237 7399

Fax: (08) 8237 7366

National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 2272

ABS Internet site:

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.