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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Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2011 (cat. no. 4172.0), also known as the Arts and Culture Compendium, was updated mid-December 2011. The compendium received a number of updates including new data on:

  • Attendance at selected cultural venues and events.
  • Reading.
  • Household expenditure on culture.
  • Cultural funding by government and business.
  • Voluntary work.
  • Employee earnings and hours.
  • Output of cultural industries.
  • Environmental heritage attendance and financial data.
  • Library and archive attendance, technology and financial data.
  • Literature and print media financial data.
  • Performing arts attendance and financial data.
  • Visual arts and crafts sales information.
  • Film and video attendance and organisations.
  • Training in arts.

Data collected as part of the ABS 2009-10 Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events shows that the most popular cultural venue was the cinema with 67% of adult Australians having attended in the 12 months prior to interview. The next most popular cultural venues were zoological parks and aquariums and botanic gardens with attendance rates of 37% and 35% respectively. Females were found to be more likely than men to attend all cultural venues and events. State, local and national libraries were found to have the highest rate of repeat visits of all cultural venues, with 70% of library attendees visiting at least 5 times in the preceding 12 months. The latest attendance data has also been included in the Museum, Environmental heritage, Libraries and archives, Performing arts and Film and video chapters. Information collected as part of the survey itself can be found in the publication Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4114.0).

According to data obtained from the Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6530.0) 4% of Australians' total expenditure was on cultural goods and services in 2009-10. The largest amount was spent on televisions ($3,350m) followed by the payment of TV fees ($2,295m). Spending on televisions increased sizeably since 2003-04 with weekly expenditure rising from $3.41 in 2003-04 to $7.65 in 2009-10. Average weekly expenditure on cultural goods and services rose from $36.40 in 2003-04 to $45.39 in 2009-10.

Volunteers play an integral role in supporting cultural industries with the latest data on the participation of volunteers finding that 403,900 people undertook voluntary work for a heritage and arts organisation in the 12 months prior to interview. This represents 7% of the population aged 18 years and over. More information on volunteer participation can be found in the ABS publication Voluntary Work, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4441.0).

Please visit the compendium online to review the latest updates in full.