4156.0 - Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/2012  Final
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This publication brings together information about sport and physical recreation in Australia from a variety of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data sources.

Wherever possible, information contained in this publication has been presented in accordance with the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC). For details refer to ABS (2008a) Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, 2008 (Second Edition) (cat. no. 4902.0).

This 2012 ABS publication is the tenth statistical overview of sport and physical recreation produced by the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS).

Data have been updated where new data were available at the time of release and will continue to be updated in the web-based version of the publication as new data becomes available throughout the year. The PDF version of the publication brings together all updates made throughout the year.

The chapters updated in this edition are as follows:

  • Chapter 3 Participation in sport and recreation
  • Chapter 8 Employment
  • Chapter 10 Facilities
  • Chapter 12 Products


This publication was made possible with funding assistance from the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials (CASRO).

All ABS publications draw on information provided freely 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.


Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of component items and the published total.


Information about ABS activities in the area of sport and physical recreation statistics is available from the Sport and Physical Recreation Topics @ a Glance page on the ABS website www.abs.gov.au.


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


This publication presents a statistical overview of sport and recreation in Australia, using the latest data available from a diverse range of ABS and other collections. The dominant focus is on sport and physical recreation, with data also being presented for other selected leisure areas.

The content of this publication is based on the ABS (2008a) Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, 2008 (Second Edition) (cat. no. 4902.0). These include separate classifications for industry, products and occupation. These classifications were developed by the ABS in order to promote a more unified body of statistical information about sport and physical recreation. Adoption of these classifications in statistical collections facilitates comparability between different data collections and, as such, aids decision making by government and the sport industries themselves.

Most of the information presented in this publication was collected by the ABS, but data collected by other organisations have also been used so that a more complete picture of the sport and physical recreation industries can be provided. Care must be taken in comparing data from different sources presented in this publication due to differences in survey methodology, definitions and reference periods. For ABS sources, information on data quality is available (e.g. standard errors), but this is not always available for non-ABS sources.

While this publication provides substantial detail, intentionally, it is an overview of the sport and physical recreation sector, and the information is not exhaustive. More comprehensive data are available from the ABS on many of the aspects of the sport and physical recreation sector highlighted in this publication.