TableBuilder: Cultural and creative activities

This product provides data about participation in, and attendance at, selected cultural and creative activities, for adults and children.

Accessing the data

The Cultural Activities Survey provides statistics about participation in and attendance at selected cultural and creative activities, for adults and children (aged 5-14 years). See Cultural and creative activities for summary results, methodology and other information.

The data can be accessed using TableBuilder for the following survey years:

  • Cultural and creative activities – Adults (2021-22),
  • Cultural and creative activities – Children (2021-22),
  • Cultural Activities – Adults (2017-18),
  • Cultural Activities – Children (2017-18),
  • Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events (2013-14),
  • Participation in Selected Cultural Activities (2013-14 and 2010-11).

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Data and file structure

Data items include: 

  • Demographics, such as age, sex and country of birth
  • Geography
  • Labour force characteristics (for adult dataset only)
  • Education: current study and highest attainment (for adult dataset only)
  • Income: personal and household
  • Cultural attendance, such as type of cultural venues/events attended
  • Cultural attendance level, such as the amount of time the respondent attended particular venues and events
  • Cultural participation, such as type of cultural activity undertaken
  • Cultural participation level, such as the amount of time the respondent participated in each activity, for adults whether they received income or were volunteers, and for children whether they received lessons

There are two available Microdata files for each release: one contains the data from respondents 15 years and over (Cultural and creative activities - Adults), and the other, children between the ages of 5 to 14 years (Cultural and creative activities - Children).

Adults and children have been kept separate for the TableBuilder product as they are weighted separately and data items are not able to be cross-classified across the two levels. Each Microdata file has three levels, as illustrated below:

Cultural and creative activities - AdultsCultural and creative activities - Children
1. Person level
2. Cultural participation level
3. Cultural attendance level
1. Child level
2. Children's cultural participation level
3. Children's cultural attendance level

Refer to data item lists for each microdata product for detailed information on items available.

Using TableBuilder

Please refer to relevant sections from TableBuilder main page for information about how to create basic tables, custom groups, graphs and large tables. 

Weights and estimation

The MPHS is a sample survey of private dwellings in Australia. Results from the survey are weighted in order to infer results for the total in-scope population. To do this, a ‘weight’ is allocated to each survey respondent, which indicates the number of persons in the in-scope population that they represent.

There is one benchmarked weight for each of the Adults (called Persons) and Children (called Children) datasets. The weight for each person and child has been applied to their record(s) across each of the file levels for the TableBuilder product. This means that for the Person and Child levels, which contain a single record per respondent, the sum of the weights across all records will equal the estimated residential population of Australia (aged 15 years and over for the Adults dataset and children aged 5 to 14 for the Children dataset).

Note: TableBuilder automatically applies the appropriate weight when creating tables.

Not applicable categories

Most data items included in the TableBuilder file include a 'Not applicable' category. The classification values of these 'Not applicable' categories, where relevant, are shown in the TableBuilder data item list. The 'Not applicable' category generally represents the number of people who were not asked a particular question or the number of people excluded from the population for a data item when that data was derived (e.g. Year of Arrival in Australia is not applicable for people born in Australia).


The population relevant to each data item is shown in the data item list and should be considered when extracting and analysing the Microdata. The actual population count for each data item is equal to the total cumulative frequency minus the 'Not applicable' category.

Generally, all populations, including very specific populations, can be 'filtered' using other relevant data items. For example, if the population of interest is 'Employed persons', any data item with that population (excluding the 'Not applicable' category) can be used as a filter.

Relative standard error

Sampling error is a measure of the difference between published estimates, derived from a sample of persons, and the value that would have been produced if the total population (as defined by the scope of the survey) had been included in the survey.

One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied because only a sample of dwellings was included. There are about two chances in three (67%) that the sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included, and about 19 chances in 20 (95%) that the difference will be less than two SEs.

Relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of sampling variability. The RSE is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it is related.

Data users should note that TableBuilder automatically produces the RSE of the estimate.

For more information for using RSEs in TableBuilder, refer to the Relative Standard Error page of the TableBuilder, User Guide.

Continuous data items

TableBuilder includes a number of continuous variables which can have a response value at any point along a continuum. Some continuous data items are allocated special codes for certain responses (e.g. 000 = 'Not applicable').

When creating ranges in TableBuilder for such continuous items, special codes will automatically be excluded. Therefore the total will show only 'valid responses' rather than all responses (including special codes). Continuous items with special codes have a corresponding categorical item in the person level data items that provides the ability to display data for the special code. Any special codes for continuous data items are listed in the data item list.

Multiple-response data items

A number of the survey's data items allow respondents to report more than one response. These are referred to as 'multiple response' data items. An example of such a data item is 'Type of cultural activity undertaken in last 12 months (multiple response)'. For this data item, respondents may have undertaken any combination of one or more of the selected activities in the last 12 months.

When a multiple-response data item is tabulated, a person is counted against each category for which they have provided a response. Therefore the sum of the components will be more than or equal to the total population, as some persons are counted multiple times.

Multiple–response data items can be identified in the data item list, as they include 'multiple response' in the data item label. The data item list can be accessed from the Data downloads section.

Special codes

For some data items certain classification values have been reserved as special codes and must not be added as if they were quantitative values. These special codes generally relate to data items such as income. For example, code 9999999998 for the data item 'Weekly personal income from all sources', refers to 'Not stated'.


A confidentiality process called perturbation is applied to the data in TableBuilder to avoid releasing information that may lead to the identification of individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses. See Confidentiality in the TableBuilder user guide.

Data downloads

Data files

Previous releases

 TableBuilder data seriesMicrodataDownloadDataLab
Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, 2013-14TableBuilder  
Participation in Selected Cultural Activities, 2013-14TableBuilder  
Participation in Selected Cultural Activities, 2010-11TableBuilder  


See Cultural and creative activities methodology for information on:

  • Data collection
  • Processing the data
  • Comparing the data
  • Data release
  • Glossary
  • Abbreviations

Post release changes

21/11/2023 - TableBuilder for Cultural and creative activities 2021-22 is now available.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4921.0.55.001.

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