New ABS data reveals Australian arts and cultural participation is growing

Australian adult arts and cultural participation grew by 4.4% between 2013/14 and 2017/18 with women's participation a driving force, up 6.1% while men's participation rates were up 2.4% according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017-18 Australian youth participation rates in creative activities totalled 63.4% and that adult participation rates are highest for people between the ages of 15-34.

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New ABS data reveals Australian arts and cultural participation is growing

Children

The ABS has released the lastest Participation in Selected Cultural Activities, Australia survey results for 2017-18. In 2017-18, most Australian children aged 5 to 14 years participated in a cultural activity outside of school hours (95.6%). 

Nine in ten children participated in screen-based activities (90.3%), and 78.5% of children participated in Reading for pleasure. Creative activities, including drama, music, dancing, art and craft activities, creative writing and creating digital content were also popular, with a participation rate of 63.4%.

Children living in the highest income households had a creative activity participation rate of 75 per cent, while children in the lowest income households were less likely to participate, with a rate of 55 per cent.

Participation in creative activities was also 67 per cent rate for 5 to 8-year-olds falling to 57 per cent participation rate for 12 to 14-year-olds.  Reading for pleasure also declined for older age groups, where the 12 to 14 year old participation rate was 73 per cent compared with 80 per cent for 5 to 8-year-olds.

While social economic factors may be a barrier for some children it is interesting to note  Tasmanian children were the most culturally engaged, with 99 per cent of children participating in at least one cultural activity compared with the national rate of 96 per cent. Similarly, Tasmanian children were the most likely to engage in creative activities, at a rate of 74 per cent compared with the national rate of 63 per cent, yet Tasmanian’s GDP per capita is the lowest across all Australian States and territories.   

Adults 

Previous comparable ABS surveys exist for Adult participation in relation to 2010/11 and 2013/14. Unfortunately, the historical data sets for arts and cultural participation by children are not readily comparable. 

Australians aged 15 and over had a cultural participation rate of 31.4%, with these people participating in at least one activity such as playing music, singing, dancing, writing, sculpting, painting or photography.

  • Women aged 15 and over had a higher cultural participation rate than men aged 15 and over (37.1% compared with 25.4%).
  • people aged 15-24 years had a higher participation rate (38.9%) than people of any other age group. The next highest participation rate was for people aged 25-34 years (32.0%).
  • Australian Capital Territory and Tasmanian residents had the highest participation rates (45.0% and 39.4% respectively).

Australian Adult Participation in Arts & Culture  2010/11-2017/ 18

Year

All Aust 15+

Women 15+

Men 15+

15-24

25-35

65+

2010/11

27%

31%

23%

34%

28%

23%

2013/14

27%

30%

25%

35%

28%

23%

2017/18

31.4%

37.1%

25.4%

38.9%

32%

 

To view the complete report click HERE

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