8560.0 - Museums, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2001   
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July 06, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australian museums attract 27.5m visitors

Some 27.5 million visits were made to museums, galleries and historic properties in the year to June 2000, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics publication, Museums, Australia, 1999-2000 released today.

The publication shows that at the end of June 2000 there were 2,049 museum establishments, comprising 249 art museums and galleries, 411 historic properties, and 1,389 'other' museums such as social history, natural history and science establishments.

The majority of museums admissions were to 'other' museums, with 13.7 million admissions.

The average price per paid admission to museums was $4.80, but over half of the total 27.5 million admissions were free.

The 78 large museums counted with employment of 100 staff or more averaged $6.90 per paid admission, compared with only $2.10 per paid admission for museums operated by volunteers.

The museums contained a total of 61.6 million artefacts, artworks and museum objects at the end of June 2000, of which only 16% were on display and 25% were documented electronically. The majority of these artefacts, artworks and museum objects were in the 78 large museums, where only 2% were on display

An estimated 41% of all artefacts, artworks and museum objects required some preservation or conservation treatment.

At the end of June 2000, there were 37,402 persons working in museums, the majority of whom were volunteers. The 29,963 volunteers worked 379,110 hours during June 2000, at an average of 13 hours per volunteer for the month. Almost half of the volunteers worked in museums where there was no paid employment.

During 1999-2000, museums accrued a total of $716 million in income. The main source of income was government funding, which was 68% of total income. Other major sources of income were fundraising income of $54 million, including $20 million in sponsorships, and admission income of $52 million.

The museums incurred $643 million in expenses, of which 36% were labour costs. Other expenses incurred were $25 million on exhibition or display development costs and $9 million on conservation expenses for artefacts, artworks and museum objects.

Further details can be found in Museums, Australia (cat. no. 8560.0) available from ABS bookshops. If you would like to purchase a copy contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.