1006.0 - Forward Work Program, 2013-14 to 2016-17  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/06/2013   
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Contents >> Statistical Programs >> Culture and Recreation Statistics



The Culture and Recreation Program covers the activities of the ABS National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS). NCCRS has responsibility for the leadership and coordination of national statistical activity in the fields of culture, sport and leisure. It also provides expertise within the ABS regarding the collection of relevant data, as well as informing governments and the community about culture, sport and leisure statistics, relevant classifications and standards, and appropriate data analysis.

Statistics on culture and sport and physical recreation describe an important aspect of wellbeing, which can impact on people’s health, their capacity to participate in education, the labour force and more broadly in the community. These statistics support policy development and program delivery by key government and non-government agencies.

The main clients of the program are the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, through both the Office for the Arts and the Office for Sport, other Australian government agencies (including the Australia Council, Screen Australia, and the Australian Sports Commission), the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials and the Culture Statistics Working Group. In addition, the client group extends to state and territory government departments responsible for culture and sport, as well as relevant industry bodies. These clients provide ongoing support for both the Culture and Recreation programs through a matched funding arrangement.


The main outputs of the program are:

  • statistical activities that develop and promote national standards, frameworks, classifications and definitions for culture and recreation statistics. Recently this included a feasibility study for a culture satellite account
  • the development, coordination and specification of statistical data needs as articulated in the Arts and Cultural Heritage Information Development Plan (ABS cat. no. 4915.0.55.002), and ongoing liaison with data users regarding their needs
  • a statistical information and dissemination service for culture, sport and leisure data, including: the provision of reports and compendium publications that use data from ABS collections; Topics @ a Glance pages for both Culture and Sport and Physical Recreation on the ABS website; and a regular newsletter
  • a statistical service responsible for developing data collections, analysing data and releasing data on: government funding for cultural activities; children’s participation in cultural and leisure activities; participation in sport and physical recreation; attendance at culture and sport venues; cultural participation
  • the provision of advice to clients, including inter-agency statistical working groups involved in the culture and sport and physical recreation sectors.


The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
  • strategically review data needs for sport and physical recreation data, focussing on the collection of high priority sport participation and exercise data utilising the discussion paper Defining Sport and Exercise, a Conceptual Model (ABS cat. no. 4149.0) to inform the development of a robust multi-year collection cycle - due December 2013
  • disseminate analytical articles of priority interest to users making use of culture and sport data from various ABS household surveys, including: the General Social Survey; Children’s Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities; Cultural Participation; Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation; the National Health Survey; and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey - ongoing
  • increase the standardisation of culture and sport statistical sources by leading the development and adoption of relevant standards - ongoing
  • advance the understanding of cultural activity within the economy through the development of a culture satellite account - due June 2014.


Dean Bowley, Assistant Statistician, Culture, Recreation and Migrant Statistics


Topics @ a Glance - Culture

Topics @ a Glance - Sport and Physical Recreation

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