4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/10/2009   
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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.


The main purpose of this survey was to collect information on the participation in culture and leisure activities of children aged 5 to 14 years outside school hours. The type of information collected included children's participation in: selected organised cultural activities (such as dancing and playing a musical instrument); selected leisure activities (such as bike riding, skateboarding, watching DVDs); and organised sports. Other information collected included: attendance at selected cultural venues; involvement in homework; and use of computers, the Internet and mobile phones. Information was collected for up to three children in each selected household.


The Children's Participation in Culture 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.


Information was collected about the activities of 5,825 children aged 5 to 14 years. The exclusion of children living in very remote parts of Australia had only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these children account for around 28% of the population.

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.


The ABS has previously conducted this survey in 2000, 2003 and 2006. While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey; sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. There were a number of small changes to the survey between 2006 and 2009. In 2006, participation in organised dancing was collected in both the sport and cultural sections, depending on where the respondent reported the activity. In 2009, participation in organised dancing was only collected as cultural participation.

Data collected about information technology have changed between each iteration of this survey. In previous surveys, questions were asked about general computer access but in 2009 the focus changed to Internet access, mobile phone use and children's personal safety and security in using mobile phones and the Internet.

In previous surveys, data have been collected about participation in playing electronic or computer games. For 2009, this was changed to include participation in any screen-based activities (apart from watching TV, DVDs or videos which is asked separately). In 2009, riding a scooter was collected along with skateboarding and rollerblading. This is not comparable to previous surveys which asked about skateboarding and rollerblading but not riding a scooter.

Data from this survey were compared with previous iterations. Taking into account the changes described above, comparisons showed that the data from this survey were consistent with the 2006 survey.


The Children's Participation in Culture 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.


In addition to the PDF publication, the tables and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet form 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.