4156.0 - Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2008 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/10/2008   
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This publication presents a statistical overview of sports and physical recreation in Australia. The information is drawn from a variety of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data sources.

Wherever possible, the information contained in this publication has been presented in accordance with the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC). They comprise three separate classifications, covering culture and leisure related industries, products and occupations. For details refer to Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, 2008 (Second Edition) (cat. no. 4902.0).

This ABS publication is the fifth electronic statistical overview on sports 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.

The chapters updated in this edition (2008 Edition 2) are as follows:

  • chapter 4 contains new data on how people spend their free time. Data are available for 'all persons' and 'participants';
  • chapter 5 contains new data on time spent at sports events. Information from the Bureau of Tourism Research on attendance from travellers has been deleted because data are no longer available at that level;
  • chapter 6 data on expenditure on selected organised sport and physical activities have been deleted because of the age of the data; and data are no longer available;
  • chapter 7 contains new data on employment in sports and physical recreation occupations, earnings, hours and selected characteristics of employees; paid and unpaid involvement in sport; and rates of participation in voluntary work;
  • chapter 8 contains new data on engineering construction of sports and physical recreation facilities and access to sporting facilities by indigenous communities. The section on building approvals for sports and physical recreation buildings has been deleted because disaggregated data is not available;
  • the previous chapter 9, which included data on funding by government and business, has been deleted because of the age of the data; and data is no longer available;
  • chapter 9 (previously chapter 10) contains new data on toy and sporting goods wholesalers; and sport, camping and marine equipment retailers. The section on hospitality clubs has been deleted because disaggregated data is no longer available; and
  • chapter 10 (previously chapter 11) contains new data on the value of manufacturing of selected sports and physical recreation products; exports of selected sports and physical recreation goods; and supply and demand for sports and physical recreation products. Data on wholesale and retail sales of selected sports and physical recreation products have been deleted due to the age of the data and not being able to make a valid comparison of the data over time.

All other data appearing in 2008 Edition 2 is the same as 2008 Edition 1.

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 sports 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 sports and physical recreation sector highlighted in this publication.


This ABS publication was produced by NCCRS and made possible with funding assistance from the Sport and Recreation Ministers Council (SRMC) and the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS).

All ABS publications draw extensively 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 field of sports and physical recreation statistics is available from the Culture and Recreation theme page on the ABS web site. This theme page also contains information about the role of the NCCRS within the ABS. To access the theme page, select People under Themes from the menu on the left hand side of the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au.


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