4172.0 - Cultural Trends in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 1997  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/12/1997   
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December 22, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Nineteen billion dollars from culture

Australia's culture sector is worth over $19 billion per year, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Cultural Trends: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 1997 highlights the culture sector's contribution of about 2.5 per cent to the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), about the same as the road transport industry and the residential building construction industry.

The Report brings together both the social and economic aspects of the culture sector, giving a comprehensive picture of the size, value and social importance of the industry.

Some highlights include:
  • $3,200 million of government funding was provided during 1995-96 to sustain and develop Australia's culture.
  • Households spend $8,800 million per year on cultural goods. This comprises 4.3 per cent of the total expenditure on goods and services by households.
  • Exports of cultural goods total $750 million per year and imports $3,400 million. Cultural royalties earned by Australia total $160 million per year, and cultural royalties paid overseas amount to $650 million per year.
  • In 1996, some 255,000 people had their main job in the culture sector.
  • 2.2 million Australians do some work in cultural activities over a 12 month period. Of these, 877,000 received some payment for that work.

In the 12 months to March 1995:
  • 62 per cent of Australians attended a cinema at least once
  • 38 per cent visited a library
  • 37 per cent visited a museum or art gallery
  • 42 per cent visited a performing arts event.

Other topics covered in the report include time spent on cultural activities and cultural tourism. Specific sectors which make up the cultural industry are also examined in detail.

Cultural Trends: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 1997 (cat. no. 4172.0) is available from ABS Bookshops.