4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2012   
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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.


Data on Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation was collected as part of the 2011–12 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). The MPHS is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect annual statistics on a small number of self-contained topics. The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes members of the permanent defence forces; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from census and estimated resident populations; overseas residents in Australia; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants). Refer to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for further information regarding the LFS. In addition, the 2011–12 MPHS excluded households in Indigenous Communities and people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of other institutions (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities).

The Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation component of the MPHS collected information on:

  • the number and characteristics of people who took part in sport and physical recreation activities
  • whether the sport and physical recreation activities were organised by a club, association or some other organisation
  • the frequency of participation
  • the type of facilities used to participate


The MPHS is collected annually with enumeration undertaken over the financial year period from July to June. As the survey reference period was the 12 months prior to the survey interview during 2011–12, the data relate to participation in sport and physical recreation occurring at some time between July 2010 and June 2012. Generally, data from the MPHS are released approximately 6–8 months after enumeration.


The Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation questions comprised a sample of 13,630 fully responding households, which represented a response rate of 80% (after taking sample loss into account).

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.

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 (SE). There are about two chances in three a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 the difference will be less than two SEs. Measures of the relative standard errors (RSE) of the estimates for this survey are included with this release.


The ABS has previously collected information on Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation as part of the MPHS in 2005–06 and 2009–10. 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 have been a number of changes to the survey over the years. Please refer to the Explanatory Notes for further details.

Data on Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation was also collected from 1993 to 2000 using the Population Survey Monitor; in 2002, 2006 and 2010 as part of the General Social Survey; and in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 as part of the Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity Survey. Data from these surveys cannot be compared with data from the MPHS because of methodological differences.


To aid in the interpretation of the participation in sport and physical recreation data, detailed information on concepts, definitions, terminology and other technical aspects of the survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.


All tables and associated RSEs are available in Excel spreadsheets and can be accessed from the Downloads tab of this publication.

Additional tables may also be available on request. The Downloads tab also includes an Excel spreadsheet containing a complete list of the data items available. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

In addition to the data available in the Excel spreadsheets, users will be able to create their own tabular output with Survey TableBuilder (STB), an online tool for creating tables and graphs. An STB file for the 2011–12 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation topic is expected to be available in early 2013.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.