4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/03/2012   
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A new edition of Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 4156.0) was released in late December 2011. The publication provides users with a comprehensive range of sports and physical recreation statistics ranging from participation rates to sport and physical recreation product data.

Updated in this edition were:

  • Chapter 6 Sport and social capital.
  • Chapter 7 Expenditure by households.
  • Chapter 9 Volunteers in sport.
  • Chapter 12 Products.

The Sport and Social Capital chapter includes statistics on the relationship between sport and work-life balance, active involvement in social groups, feelings of trust, frequency of contact with family and friends, and the proportion of friends of the same ethnic background, age, or level of education. The topic of the social benefits of sport and physical recreation will be further explored in the publication Sport and Social Capital, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4917.0) due to be released on the 27th March 2012.

As a lot of keen sporting participants know, being involved in sport is not a cheap exercise. Data from the 2009-10 ABS Household Expenditure Survey, updated in Chapter 7, shows that households spent an average of $18.94 per week on sporting and physical recreation products, which represented 1.5% of the average amount spent each week on all products. Further information on the ABS Household Expenditure Survey can be found in Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6530.0).

Although Australians spend a considerable amount of money on sport and physical recreation goods, many of these are imported. According to data on International Trade in Goods and Services, updated in Chapter 10, Australia’s trade in selected sport and physical recreation goods was in deficit in 2010-11 with about $2 billion in imports and $310 million in exports. Further data on International Trade in Goods and Services is available on request.

According to the ABS 2010 General Social Survey, sporting organisations were found to engage the largest percentage of volunteers (37%) of all organisations. Men were more likely than women to volunteer in organisations related to sport (15% of men compared with 12% of women). The compendium presents further statistics on volunteers' family and household type and labour force status in Chapter 9. Further information on the 2010 General Social Survey can be found in General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4159.0). More information on volunteering in sport will be available in the ABS publication Volunteers in Sport, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4440.0.55.001) which will be released on the 27th March 2012.

For a more comprehensive review of the compendium please visit the publication webpage. The compendium is available in both electronic and PDF format. Recent upgrades to the ABS website also allow users to select and print sections or pages of a standard Statistical Product. Selecting the “Print All” button opens an overlay screen with options for selection of specific pages or sections for printing.