4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/12/2006   
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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 2006 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).

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 LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about computer assisted and telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS 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 <www.abs.gov.au> (Methods, Classifications, Concepts and Standards - ABS Concepts, Classifications and Statistical Standards).


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

  • children in households where all persons aged 15 years and over were members of 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 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 29% of the total number of children in the population.


6 The estimates in this publication relate to children covered by the survey in April 2006. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each child is associated with only one dwelling, and hence have 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 2006.

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 75% of the interviews were conducted by telephone with the remainder being face to face interviews.

9 In each selected household, information on cultural, sporting and selected other activities was sought for a maximum of three children. In total, information was collected about the activities of 8,682 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, only selected demographic information was collected.

10 Data was collected on children's cultural and sporting activities undertaken outside of school hours over a 12 month period. Data on the frequency of participation relates to the 12 months before interview, while data on the number of hours of participation refers to the last two weeks of school (the most recent two school weeks prior to the interview, including weekends and public holidays). School weeks are weeks during the school term (i.e. not school holidays) including weekends and public holidays. Data was also collected on children's participation in selected other activities during the last two weeks of school.

11 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 Futsal were coded to indoor soccer.

12 Activities which are undertaken as part of organised training or practice for a sport (e.g. running, weight training) are not recorded as separate sports. Involvement in these activities is included as participation in the sport for which the child is training or practising.


13 The Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities Survey was previously conducted in 2000 and 2003 as supplements to the Labour Force Survey. Computer assisted telephone interviewing was introduced during 2003 and while information was collected using a paper form for the majority of households in 2003, computer assisted interviewing was used for all survey interviews in the 2006 survey. This change in the methodology is not expected to impact on the comparability of the data between the surveys.

14 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 and 2006, detailed participation data was collected for a maximum of three children per household, and selected demographic data was collected for up to ten more.

15 Reading for pleasure was introduced as a new activity in 2003. New questions were asked to establish whether a child read for pleasure and the number of hours they spent doing so in the last two school weeks.

16 In 2006, 'Homework or other study' in the last two school weeks was added to the list of selected activities. Data was also collected on children's attendance at selected cultural venues and events outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview.

17 In 2003, involvement in Internet activities and emailing was collected as a single response. In 2006, these activities were separately identified. Similarly, emailing and accessing chat rooms were combined in 2003 but separately collected in 2006.

18 In 2003, the category 'Playing games' on a computer included Internet based activities such as downloading games information. In 2006, computer activities relating to playing games using the Internet have been included in the category 'Internet based activities'. In 2006, the Internet activity 'Playing games' has been relabelled 'Playing on-line or Internet based games'.

19 In 2003, the category 'other activities' relating to computer usage included downloading information (e.g. music, pictures, recipes) from the Internet. In 2006, computer activities relating to the Internet have been included in the category 'Internet based activities'.

20 In 2003, the category 'other activities' relating to Internet usage included downloading music. In 2006, downloading music has been included in the separate category 'Downloading music from Internet sites'.


21 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error.

22 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.

23 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.


24 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.


25 The ABS currently plans to conduct this survey again in April 2009.


26 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:
Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2000
, cat. no. 4901.0
Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2003, cat. no. 4901.0
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2004-05, cat. no. 8146.0
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2005-06, 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

27 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 the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>(Statistics). The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site (Future Releases) 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 <www.abs.gov.au>(Themes - Culture and Recreation). The Innovation and Technology National Statistics Centre newsletter (ABS Innovation and Technology Statistics Update) can be accessed through the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au> (Themes - Innovation, Science and Technology).