4921.0 - Participation in Selected Cultural Activities, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2019   
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ADULTS' PARTICIPATION

In 2017-18, almost a third (31.4%) of the Australian population aged 15 years and over participated in at least one selected cultural activity. Overall, women had a higher participation rate than men (37.1% compared with 25.4%); people aged 15-24 years had a higher participation rate (38.9%) than people of any other age group. After people aged 15-24 years, the next highest participation rate was for people aged 25-34 years (32.0%).

Table 1. Participation rates in cultural activities(a), By age and sex, 2017-18


PARTICIPATION RATE (%)
Age group (years)
Males
Females
Persons

15-24
32.7
45.2
38.9
25-34
26.5
37.3
32.0
35-44
27.9
34.0
31.0
45-54
23.6
34.1
28.8
55-64
21.7
37.0
29.5
65 and over
19.5
36.0
28.2
Total
25.4
37.1
31.4

Footnote: (a) Excludes activities participated in for secondary or tertiary studies.

Participation rates varied depending on a person's household income, household composition, educational attainment and labour force status:
  • People living in households in the highest income quintile had a higher participation rate (34.8%) than those in the lowest (29.3%).
  • People who were unemployed had a higher participation rate (39.8%) than people who were employed or not in the labour force (31.6% and 30.0%)
  • People who worked part-time had a higher participation rate than people who worked full-time (37.8% compared to 28.7%). Men who worked part-time had a higher participation rate than men who worked full-time (34.9% compared to 24.1%). Women working full-time and part-time had a similar participation rate (36.8% and 39.0%).

The participation rate for people aged 15 years and over living in greater capital city regions was 32.4%, significantly higher than for people living in other regions of Australia (29.2%).

Australian Capital Territory residents had the highest participation rate (45.0%), 13.6 percentage points above the national rate. Northern Territory residents had the lowest rate (25.0%), 6.4 percentage points below the national rate.

Graph 1. Cultural activity participation rate(a), by state and territory, 2017-18
Graph 1. Cultural activity participation rate(a), by state and territory, 2017-18
Footnote: (a) Excludes activities participated in for secondary or tertiary studies.


Only one in ten participants (9.6%) received an income for their involvement in cultural activities, with those participating in Fashion, interior or graphic design activities the most likely to receive income (32.6%).

Some participants were volunteering in the cultural activity they reported. This was most common for people engaging in performing arts, where 41.1% of people Performing in a drama, comedy, musical or variety act were volunteers and 32.7% of people Singing or playing a musical instrument were volunteers.

Most Australians aged 15 years and over who participated in a cultural activity participated in just one activity (59.9% of participants).

Female and male participants had different patterns of participation in 2017-18. The most popular cultural activities for female participants were Craft activities, with 56.1% of women who participated listing this as one of their activities. Visual art activities such as painting, drawing and sculpting were also popular for women (37.1%), as well as Writing fiction or non-fiction (15.7%). In contrast, the most popular activities for male participants were Visual art activities such as painting, drawing and sculpting (24.6%), Craft activities (24.5%) and Photography, film-making or editing (22.6%).

Performing in a drama, comedy, musical or variety act attracted relatively few participants overall (4.2% of female participants and 5.9% of male participants). Writing song lyrics or mixing or composing music also had relatively few female participants (also 4.2% of female participants). Fashion, interior or graphic design had relatively few female or male participants (6.1% of female participants and 7.3% of male participants).

The largest difference between female and male participation rates was for Craft activities (56.1% female participation compared to 24.5%). Other large differences were for Designing websites, computer games or interactive software (6.7% female participation compared to 20.3% for males) and Visual art activities, such as painting, drawing and sculpting (37.1% female participation compared to 24.6% for males).

Graph 2. Persons participating in cultural activities, By sex and activity(a), 2017-18
Graph 2.  Persons participating in cultural activities, By sex and activity(a), 2017-18
Footnote: (a) Excludes activities participated in for secondary or tertiary studies.