4174.0 - Spectator Attendance at Sporting Events, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2010  Final
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1 The statistics presented in this publication were compiled from data on sports attendance, collected using the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2009-10 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS).

2 The MPHS is conducted each financial year throughout Australia from July to June as a supplement to the ABS's monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to provide annual statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics. In 2009-10 the topics were:

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

3 In addition to these topics, information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics were also collected.

4 Data for all MPHS topics collected in 2009-10 will be released in separate publications. Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) containing detailed data for individual records will also be available following the release of the publications for all topics with the exception of Spectator attendance at sporting events and Attendance at selected cultural venues and events. However, most of the data relating to spectator attendance at sporting events and attendance at cultural venues and events are included on the Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation CURF.

5 This publication covers details on the number and characteristics of people aged 15 years and over who attended sporting events as spectators. This publication also presents time series data comparing estimates from the 2009-10 survey with 2005-06 survey estimates.


6 The scope of the 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).

7 In addition, the 2009-10 MPHS excluded the following from its scope:
  • people living in very remote parts of Australia
  • people living in non-private 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.

8 As indicated above, the scope of the 2009-10 MPHS excluded persons living in very remote parts of Australia. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia is unlikely to impact on state and territory estimates, except in the Northern Territory where they account for approximately 23% of the total population.


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

10 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.


11 The 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 topic questions in a personal interview. If the randomly selected person was aged 15-17 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 15-17 year old. Data was collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses were recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer, usually during a telephone interview.

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

13 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.


14 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 full MPHS dwelling sample were asked questions on spectator attendance at sporting events (14,205 dwellings/persons).



15 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 probability 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).


16 The initial weights were then calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks', in designated categories of sex by age by area of usual residence. 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.

17 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.)


18 Survey estimates of counts of persons or households are obtained by summing the weights of persons or households with the characteristic of interest.


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

Sampling Error

20 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

21 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, and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.


22 This publication presents details of persons who attended a sporting event at least once during the 12 months prior to interview in 2009-10.

23 Respondents were asked an open-ended question about whether they had been to any sporting matches or competitions as a spectator, during the previous 12 months (excluding school and junior competitions). They were then prompted for which sports they had attended. These 'sport attendees' were asked to list up to five sports and also how frequently they had attended.

24 The data presented cannot be compared with any 'total admissions' data held by sporting venues or associations for a number of reasons. The MPHS collected information primarily about sport attendees (those people who attended a sporting event at least once in the preceding 12 months) and not the total number of times they attended a sporting event. Details in relation to attendees under 15 years of age were not part of the survey but may be included in sporting organisations' 'total admissions' data. Finally, total admissions data may include multiple attendances of a core group of sports enthusiasts.

25 Information on the frequency of attendance was collected by asking respondents how many times they attended during the year, for each activity in which they attended. This was recorded in the following ranges:
  • Once
  • Twice
  • 3 times
  • 4 times
  • 5 times
  • 6-10 times
  • 11-15 times
  • 16-20 times
  • 21-25 times
  • 26 times or more

26 Gross household income in the 2009-10 MPHS is derived by summing the personal weekly income of the respondent and the total weekly income of all other persons in the household (as reported by the respondent). Where a person either refused or did not know either their personal income or the remainder of the household's total income, the gross weekly income for the household was classified as 'Income not known or not stated'. For the survey, gross household income that was not known or not stated comprised 19% of the 14,205 sample.


27 The ABS has previously collected data on spectator attendance at sporting events in two Monthly Population Surveys in 1995 and 1999, in the 2002 General Social Survey and in the 2005-06 MPHS. The methodology used in these surveys differed between years, as well as to the 2005-06 and 2009-10 MPHS, and this may affect the validity of comparisons. It is not possible to determine the extent to which the differences between the survey methodologies may have contributed to the different results.

28 Comparisons can be made with the 2005-06 survey and time series data with 2005-06 has been included in Tables 7 to 9.

29 Care should be taken when comparing 2009-10 Northern Territory (NT) data with equivalent data from 2005-06. The 2005-06 MPHS sample size for NT limits the reliability of the estimates particularly at a detailed level.


30 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 obtained from the LFS.


31 All of the tables included in the publication are also available as Excel spreadsheet datacubes from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.


32 The ABS will conduct the MPHS again during the 2010-11 financial year. The 2010-11 MPHS topics are:
  • Learning and work history
  • Cultural participation
  • Household use of information technology
  • Patient experience
  • Crime victimisation
  • Barriers and incentives to labour force participation
  • Retirement and retirement intentions

33 The MPHS is likely to be the main survey vehicle for the collection of future data on spectator attendance at sporting events and the ABS is planning to collect data on this topic again in the 2013-14 MPHS. The scope of the survey is expected to remain as persons aged 15 years and over.


34 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.


35 Other ABS publications containing information on sport, physical recreation and leisure activities include:
  • Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0)
  • Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 6285.0)
  • Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, 2010 (cat no. 4177.0)
  • Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4114.0)
  • Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, Oct 2010 (cat. no. 4156.0)
  • General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).

36 The ABS issues a daily release advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.