4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2013   
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Latest data

Data from the ABS of Survey Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Apr 2012 (cat. no. 4901.0) was published in October 2012. The CPCLA was conducted in April 2012 and data was collected on cultural attendance and participation and participation in organised sport by children aged 5-14 years outside of school hours in the 12 months prior to interview. Key findings from the survey are presented below.

Participation in organised cultural activities

More than one third (35%) of children aged 5-14 years participated in at least one of the selected organised cultural activities outside of school hours. Activities included Playing a musical instrument, Singing, Dancing, Drama or Organised art and craft.

Attendance at cultural venues and events

Data was collected on whether children visited a public library, a museum or art gallery, or attended a performing arts event. The survey found that 71% of children aged 5-14 years attended at least one of these cultural events or venues outside of school hours.

Participation in organised sport

The survey found that 60% of children aged 5-14 years participated in at least one sport outside of school hours that had been organised by a school, club or association. Outdoor soccer was the most popular sport for boys with 22% participating while Swimming/Diving was most popular for girls with 19% participating. However, Dancing was the most popular organised physical activity for girls with 27% participating (compared with 4% of boys).

Participation in selected leisure and other activities

Information was collected about children's participation in a range of leisure and other activities in the previous two weeks (outside of school hours). During that two week period:

  • 96% watched television, DVDs or videos
  • 85% spent time on other screen based activities
  • 81% did homework or other study
  • 71% read for pleasure
  • 64% went bike riding
  • 54% had been skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter
  • 43% spent time recreational art or craft activities.

Use of the Internet and mobile phones

The vast majority (90%) of children had accessed the Internet in the 12 months prior to April 2009. Of children who used the Internet, 90% used it for educational activities, which was the most popular purpose.

In April 2012 less than one third (29%) of children aged 5-14 years had a mobile phone. The likelihood of having a mobile phone increased with age, with 2% of children aged between 5-8 years having one, increasing to 22% of 9-11 year olds and 73% of 12-14 year olds.