4901.0.55.001 - Children's Participation in Sport and Leisure Time Activities, 2003 - 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2012   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


Using data from the 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 Surveys of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, this publication looks at changes to children's participation in sport and other leisure activities over time.

The Survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities is conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS). As a result, if all persons within a household over the age of 15 years were excluded from the LFS, no children in the household would be selected for the supplementary survey (see Explanatory Notes of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Additionally, children living in indigenous communities were excluded for operational reasons.

The main purpose of this survey is to collect information on the participation in cultural and leisure activities of children aged 5 to 14 years outside of school hours.

Information collected in the surveys included:
  • children's participation in selected organised cultural activities (such as dancing and playing a musical instrument)
  • children's participation in selected recreational activities (such as bike riding, skateboarding, watching TV)
  • children's participation in organised sports
  • children's attendance at selected cultural venues and events
  • children's use of the Internet and mobile phones.

Information has been collected for up to three children in each selected household.


The Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities Survey is collected triennially in April, and was first conducted in 2000. Data from the survey are released in October, approximately six months after the completion of enumeration.


Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors. Measures of the relative standard error for this survey are included with this release.

Every 5 years, following the availability of data from the Census of Population and Housing, the ABS reviews the LFS sample design. As a result of the review following the 2006 Census, the new sample design, implemented over the period November 2007 to June 2008, resulted in a smaller sample size from July 2008. For more information see Information Paper: Labour Force Sample Design, Nov 2007 (cat. no. 6269.0).


While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey from year to year, sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. There have been a number of changes to the survey between 2003 and 2012. For further details of these please refer to the Explanatory Notes.


The Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Notes and a Glossary that provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


Tabulated data and associated RSE's are available in spreadsheet format on the website.

Data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases may result in data being confidentialised.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070.