4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/01/2004   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities Survey conducted throughout Australia in April 2003 as part of the Monthly Population Survey (MPS).

2 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 Labour Force Survey (LFS), which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's Labour Force Survey aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0) which is available on the ABS web site (About Statistics-Statistical Concepts and Classifications).


4 The scope of the survey included all children aged 5-14 years who were usual residents of private dwellings except:

  • children in households where at least one person aged 15 years and over was a member in the Australian permanent defence forces
  • children of certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from censuses and surveys
  • children of overseas residents in Australia
  • children of members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia.

5 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded children living in very remote parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these children will only have a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for states and territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory where such children account for 22% of the total number of children in the population.


6 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in April 2003. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each child is associated with only one dwelling, and hence had only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


7 Information was collected through interviews conducted over a two-week period during April 2003. Data collected on the frequency of participation related to the previous 12 months. Data collected on the number of hours of participation related to the last two weeks of school. The last two weeks of school related to the most recent two school weeks prior to the interview.

8 Information was collected from any responsible adult in the household who was asked to respond on behalf of the children in the household. About 80% of the interviews were conducted by telephone with the remainder being face-to-face interviews.

9 In each selected household, information on cultural and leisure activities was sought for a maximum of three children. In total, information was collected about the activities of 8,900 children living in the selected households. In the households with four or more children aged 5-14 years, three children were randomly selected for the survey. For the additional children in these households, selected demographic information only was collected.

10 Those children who participated in a recognised modified version of a sport have been recorded as participating in the adult version of that sport. For example, children who played teeball were coded to softball; Auskick to Australian Rules football; miniball to basketball; and netta to netball.


11 Two minor changes were made to the survey's content between 2000 and 2003.

  • In 2000, detailed participation data was collected for a maximum of six children, per household, and selected demographic data for up to three more. In 2003, detailed participation data was collected for a maximum of three children, per household, and selected demographic data was collected for up to ten more.
  • Reading for pleasure was introduced as a new leisure activity in 2003. As such, two new questions were asked to establish whether each child participated in this activity, in the last two school weeks, and if so, the total number of hours they spent on this activity, during this period.


12 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error.
  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all children had been included in the survey. For further information on sampling error, refer to the Technical Note.
  • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and efficient processing procedures.


13 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided 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.


14 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in April 2006.


15 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:

  • Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2000, cat. no. 4901.0
  • Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2001-02, cat. no. 8146.0
  • Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2002, cat. no. 4114.0
  • Sports Attendance, Australia, 2002, cat. no. 4174.0
  • Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 2002, cat. no. 4177.0
  • Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, August 2000, cat. no. 8147.0

16 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site . The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead. The National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics theme page also contains a wealth of information and useful references. This site can be accessed through the ABS web site .

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