4114.0 - Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2010   
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1 The statistics presented in this publication were compiled from data on attendance at selected cultural venues and events, collected using the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009-10 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS).

2 The MPHS is designed to provide annual statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics. In 2009-10 the topics were:

  • Attendance at selected cultural venues and events
  • Sports attendance
  • Participation in sport and physical recreation
  • Work related injuries
  • Crime victimisation
  • Family characteristics
  • Patient experience

3 The 2009-10 MPHS collected attendance at cultural venues and events data for persons aged 15 years and over. Attendance at cultural venues and events data for persons aged 15 years and over has previously been collected by the ABS through: the Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural/Leisure Venues, a supplementary survey to the Monthly Population Survey (MPS) in June 1991, March 1995, and April 1999; the General Social Survey (GSS) in 2002 and 2006; and in the 2005-06 MPHS. This publication presents time series data comparing estimates from the 2009-10 survey with estimates in the 2005-06 and 1999 surveys.

4 Data for other 2009-10 topics will be released in separate publications. For all MPHS topics, information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics are also available. In 2011, expanded Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) will be released containing data from selected 2009-10 topics.


5 The scope of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes the following:
  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated resident populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

6 In addition, the 2009-10 MPHS excluded the following from scope:
  • people living in very remote parts of Australia
  • people living in special dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities, women's shelters), and inmates of prisons.

7 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded persons living in very remote parts of Australia. The exclusion of these people is unlikely to impact on the state and territory estimates, except the Northern Territory where they account for approximately 23% of the total population.


8 The coverage of 2009-10 MPHS was the same as the scope of 2009-10 MPHS except that persons living in Indigenous communities in non-very remote areas were not covered for operational reasons.

9 In the LFS, rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


10 The 2009-10 MPHS was conducted as a supplement to the monthly LFS. Each month one eighth of the dwellings in the LFS sample were rotated out of the survey. Over 80% of these dwellings were then selected for the MPHS each month. In these dwellings, after the LFS had been fully completed for each person in scope and coverage, a person aged 15 years or over was selected at random (based on a computer algorithm) and asked the MPHS questions in a personal interview. If the randomly selected person was aged 15 to 17 years, permission was sought from a parent or guardian before conducting the interview. If permission was not given, the parent or guardian was asked the questions on behalf of the 15 to 17 year old. Data were collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses were recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer, usually during a telephone interview.

11 For the 2009-10 MPHS, the sample was accumulated over a twelve month period from July 2009 to June 2010.

12 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also applies to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


13 The sample size may vary for different topics in the MPHS. The initial sample for the 2009-10 MPHS was 38,655 private dwellings, from which one person was randomly selected. Of the 32,760 private dwellings that remained in the survey after sample loss (for example, dwellings selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), 28,554 or 87% of those dwellings fully responded to the MPHS. Approximately 50% of the fully responding MPHS dwelling sample were asked questions on attendance at selected cultural venues and events (14,205 persons/households).



14 Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in-scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each covered sample unit which for the MPHS can be either a person or a household. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. For example, if the probablility of a person being selected in the survey was 1 in 600, then the person would have an initial weight of 600 (i.e. they represent 600 people).


15 The initial weights were calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks', in designated categories of sex by age by state or territory and part of state or territory. Weights calibrated against population benchmarks ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself. Calibration to population benchmarks helps to compensate for over or under-enumeration of particular categories of persons/households which may occur due to either the random nature of sampling or non-response.

16 For person estimates, the MPHS was benchmarked to the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) in each state and territory, excluding the ERP living in very remote areas of Australia, at 31 March 2010. For household estimates, the MPHS was benchmarked to independently calculated estimates of total number of households in Australia. The MPHS estimates do not (and are not intended to) match estimates for the total Australian person/household population obtained from other sources (which may include persons living in very remote parts of Australia).


17 Survey estimates of counts of persons or households are obtained by summing the weights of persons or households with the characteristic of interest. Estimates of non-person counts (e.g. days spent attending an event) are obtained by multiplying the characteristic of interest with the weight of the reporting person/household and aggregating.


18 All sample surveys are subject to error which can be broadly categorised as either:
  • sampling error; or
  • non-sampling error.

Sampling Error

19 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimates, derived from a sample of persons, and the value that would have been produced if the total population (as defined for the scope of the survey) had been included in the survey. For more information refer to the Technical Note.

Non-sampling Error

20 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents, or recording of answers by interviewers and errors in coding and processing data. Every effort is made to reduce non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, training and supervision of interviewers, extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing, and follow up of initial non-respondents.


21 This publication presents details of people who attended a cultural venue or event at least once during the 12 months before interview in 2009-10. While the tables provide the number of attendees and the attendance rate, it is also possible to calculate the details of non-attendees.

22 The data presented cannot be compared with any 'total admissions' administrative data held by cultural venues, since details in relation to attendees under 15 years of age were not part of the survey. In addition, total admissions data includes multiple attendances while the MPHS provides data on how many times a respondent visited a cultural venue or event.


23 Tables 11 and 12 provide comparisons of the current data with data collected from the April 1999 MPS and 2005-06 MPHS. Methodological differences between these surveys may affect the validity of comparisons. It is not possible to determine the extent to which the differences between the 2009-10 MPHS and the April 1999 MPS and 2005-06 MPHS survey methodologies have contributed to the different results.

24 Data on attendance at selected cultural venues and events were also collected on the 2002 and 2006 General Social Survey (GSS). Analysis of cultural attendance data collected on the 2006 GSS and data collected on the 2005-06 MPHS has shown that the results from the two surveys are significantly different. As the data was collected over a similar time period, the differences in survey methodologies have had an impact on the survey results. It is not possible to quantify the extent of this impact. Thus, the GSS results are not comparable to the MPHS results.

25 GSS time series data is presented in the publication General Social Survey: Summary of Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0). This provides a comparison between attendance in 2002 and 2006 as collected at both time points by the General Social Survey using the same survey methodology.


26 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of the MPHS and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.


27 The ABS will conduct the MPHS again during the 2010-11 financial year. The 2010-11 MPHS topics are:
  • Education and Household income (core)
  • Household use of IT
  • Barriers and incentives to labour force participation
  • Retirement and retirement intentions
  • Patient Experience
  • Crime Victimisation
  • Cultural Participation
  • Learning and Work History

28 The MPHS is likely to be the main survey vehicle for the collection of future attendance at cultural venues and events data. The ABS is planning to collect attendance at cultural venues and events data again in the reference period 2013-14. The scope of the survey is expected to remain as persons aged 15 years and over.


29 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


30 The Survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities provides details on participation in selected organised cultural activities (including singing, dancing, drama and playing a musical instrument) for children aged 5-14 years. Results from the 2009 survey have been published in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0). The ABS's Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (2003) also collected information regarding whether persons aged 5 years and over with a disability had attended a cultural venue or event away from home in the previous 12 months. Data from this survey has been published in Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, Australia, 2003 (cat. no. 4430.0). Attendance at cultural venues and events (but not frequency of attendance) was also collected in the GSS 2006 and results from this survey were released in the publication General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).

31 ABS publications containing cultural information include:
32 The ABS issues a daily release advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.