Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
4114.0 - Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/10/2003   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

SUMMARY

During the 12 months before interview in 2002, about 88% of the Australian population aged 18 years and over (12.8 million people) attended at least one of the cultural venues and events surveyed. The highest attendance rates were at cinemas (70% of people), libraries (42%), botanic gardens (42%) and zoological parks and aquariums (40%).


AGE AND SEX

People aged less than 35 years were most likely to attend at least one of the cultural venues and events surveyed, particularly those aged 18-24 years who had an attendance rate of 98%. The lowest attendance rate (63%) was recorded for the age group 75 years and over. For most age groups, attendance rates for females were significantly higher than for males.


AREA OF RESIDENCE

Apart from dance performances, attendance rates for people living in the six state capital cities were significantly higher than those for people in the rest of Australia for all venues and events included in the survey. For most venues and events, residents in the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest attendance rates. However, Victorian residents had the highest attendance rate for musicals and operas, South Australian residents the highest rate for other performing arts, and Northern Territory residents the highest rate for botanic gardens.


HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION

To some extent, attendance at cultural venues and events is influenced by the age and family context of the person. For example, those people in households with dependent children were more likely to visit libraries, zoological parks and aquariums, but less likely to attend classical music concerts.


COUNTRY OF BIRTH

For most venues and events surveyed, people born overseas in the main English-speaking countries had significantly higher attendance rates than those born in Australia or in other countries.


LABOUR FORCE STATUS

Employed people (and particularly those employed part-time) had significantly higher attendance rates at most venues and events than people who were unemployed or not in the labour force. However, for libraries, unemployed people had the highest attendance rate, with 60% having visited a national, state or local library in the previous 12 months.


EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

People with higher qualifications were more likely to attend cultural venues and events. People with postgraduate degrees recorded the highest attendance rates at six of the 12 venues and events included in the survey, while people with graduate diplomas and certificates recorded the highest rates for five of the venues and events.


INCOME

There was a strong relationship between the level of gross household income (adjusted to allow for the number of people in the household) and attendance at cultural venues and events. For each of the 12 venues and events surveyed, residents with household income in the highest quintile reported the highest attendance rates. Generally, as gross household income decreased, so too did attendance rates.


FREQUENCY OF ATTENDANCE

About two-fifths (40%) of those who visited libraries in the previous 12 months went there over 10 times during the year. Cinemas also had a relatively large number of regular attendees, with almost one-quarter (23%) going there over 10 times during the year. However, the majority of people who visited museums, or attended musicals and operas, or other performing arts went only once during the 12-month period.


COMPARISONS OVER TIME

Generally, attendance rates in 2002 were slightly higher than that recorded in 1991, 1995 and 1999, although this observation must be treated with caution due to changes in the survey methodology between the years.


ART GALLERIES


Attendance

Some 3,606,600 people in Australia visited art galleries in the 12 months before interview in 2002. This was 25% of the population aged 18 years and over.
About three-fifths (60%) of those people had visited an art gallery more than once in the previous 12 months.


Area of residence

The highest attendance rate for art galleries was recorded for residents in the Australian Capital Territory, with almost one-half (48%) of those aged 18 years and over attending in the 12 months before interview (this relatively high attendance rate may in part be due to some popular special exhibitions, such as The Italians - Three Centuries of Italian Art, which were held during the survey reference period). Northern Territory and Western Australia residents also recorded relatively high attendance rates - 31% and 29% respectively. The attendance rate of people in the six state capital cities (26%) was slightly higher than for those living elsewhere in Australia (23%).


Characteristics of visitors

The higher attendance rate for females (28%) than for males (22%) at art galleries was evident across all age groups. Attendance rates generally increased with age until age 65 years. People aged 75 years and over had the lowest attendance rate of all the age groups.

The highest attendance rates for art galleries were recorded for people who:

    • were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (29%)
    • were working part-time (31%)
    • had postgraduate degrees (69%), graduate diplomas and certificates (47%) or bachelor degrees (46%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (40%).


MUSEUMS


Attendance

There were 3,623,200 people in Australia or 25% of the population aged 18 years and over who visited museums in the 12 months before interview in 2002. The attendance rate was somewhat higher than that recorded in 1999 (20%), when some large museums were temporarily closed. The opening of the Melbourne Museum in 2000 and the National Museum in Canberra in 2001 would also have contributed to the higher attendance rates recorded in 2002.

About one-half (47%) of those who had visited museums during the 12-month period had gone more than once.


Area of residence

The highest attendance rates for museums were recorded by people living in the Australian Capital Territory (57%) and the Northern Territory (43%). People living in Tasmania also had a relatively high attendance rate (32%).


Characteristics of visitors

Overall, males and females had similar attendance rates (approximately 25%). However, for those aged 18-24 years, the attendance rate for females (27%) was significantly more than the rate for males (18%).

The highest attendance rates for museums were recorded for people who:
    • were in couple families with dependent children (27%)
    • were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (30%)
    • were employed (28%)
    • had postgraduate degrees (56%), graduate diplomas and certificates (46%) or bachelor degrees (41%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (38%).


ZOOLOGICAL PARKS AND AQUARIUMS

Attendance

Two-fifths (40%) of people aged 18 years and over visited zoological parks and aquariums in the 12 months before interview in 2002. Some 3,272,100 people visited zoological gardens, 2,475,700 visited other wildlife parks and 2,838,000 visited aquariums and marine parks. The attendance rate increased six percentage points between 1999 and 2002 (from 34% to 40%). Part of the increase in attendance over this period can be attributed to the opening of new venues. For example, following the opening of the Melbourne Aquarium in 2000, attendance rates by Victorians at aquariums and marine parks increased by 15 percentage points (from 8% in 1999 to 23% in 2002).


Area of residence

Attendance rates varied considerably by area of residence. The highest attendance rates at zoological gardens were recorded by people in the Australian Capital Territory (32%) and Western Australia (31%). Attendance at other wildlife parks was highest for those living in the Northern Territory (37%), while for aquariums and marine parks, the highest attendance rate was recorded for residents in the Australian Capital Territory (29%).


Characteristics of visitors

Females had slightly higher attendance rates than males at zoological parks and aquariums (42% and 38% respectively). The highest attendance rates were recorded for the age groups 25-34 years (52%) and 35-44 years (49%), over three times the attendance rate of the 75 years and over age group (14%).

The highest attendance rates for zoological parks and aquariums were recorded for people who:
    • were in couple families with dependent children (50%) or in one-parent families with dependent children
    • were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (46%)
    • were employed (46%)
    • had postgraduate degrees (57%), graduate diplomas and certificates (55%) or bachelor degrees (53%)
    • were in the highest (50%) or second highest (48%) equivalised household income quintile.


BOTANIC GARDENS

Attendance

Almost 42% of the population aged 18 years and over (6,034,200 people) in Australia visited botanic gardens in the 12 months before interview in 2002. This represents an increase of over five percentage points in the attendance rate when compared with survey results from 1999 (from 36% to 42%).
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those who had visited botanic gardens during the 12-month period had gone more than once.


Area of residence

The highest attendance rate was recorded by people living in the Northern Territory (49%) - botanic gardens was the second most attended cultural venue or event by people in the Northern Territory in the 12 months before interview in 2002. People living in the six state capital cities had an attendance rate of 46%, compared with 35% for people living elsewhere in Australia.


Characteristics of visitors

The attendance rate for females (43%) was only slightly higher than the rate for males (40%). The age group 75 years and over recorded an attendance rate of 24%, substantially lower than all other age groups which had rates near the average of 42%.

The highest attendance rates for botanic gardens were recorded for people who:
    • were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (48%)
    • were employed (45%)
    • had postgraduate degrees (72%), graduate diplomas and certificates (64%) or bachelor degrees (62%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (56%).


LIBRARIES

Attendance

With an attendance rate of over 42% of people aged 18 years and over (6,110,200 people), national, state and local libraries were the second most attended cultural venue or event in 2002. The attendance rate increased five percentage points between 1999 and 2002 (from 37% to 42%).

About two-fifths (40%) of those who had been to libraries during the 12-month period had been there more than 10 times during that period.


Area of residence

While people in most states and territories had attendance rates similar to the national average (42%), the rates were somewhat higher for people in the Australian Capital Territory (49%) (possibly in part due to the National Library’s Treasures of the World Exhibition which was held during the reference period) and in Western Australia (47%). Attendance rates were slightly higher for residents in the six state capital cities (43%) than in the rest of Australia (40%).


Characteristics of visitors

Females were much more likely than males to visit a library - their attendance rate was 50%, compared with 35% for males. Large differences between females and males were evident for all age groups except 65-74 years and 75 years and over.

The highest attendance rates for libraries were recorded for people who:
    • were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (49%)
    • were unemployed (60%) or working part-time (54%)
    • had graduate diplomas and certificates (64%), bachelor degrees (60%) or postgraduate degrees (59%).


CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERTS

Attendance

There were 1,298,900 people in Australia who attended classical music concerts in the 12 months before interview in 2002, making it the least attended of the 12 cultural venues and events surveyed. This was about one-tenth (9%) of the population aged 18 years and over.

Almost three-fifths (58%) of those who had attended classical music concerts during the 12-month period had attended multiple times.


Area of residence

Residents in the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest attendance rate (14%), while those in Queensland recorded the lowest (7%). People living in the six state capital cities had a higher attendance rate than those in the rest of Australia (11% compared with 6%).


Characteristics of attendees

Females were slightly more likely than males to attend classical music concerts (an attendance rate of 10% compared with 8%). The age group 55-64 years recorded the highest attendance rate (13%), over double the attendance rate of those aged 18-24 years (6%).

The highest attendance rates for classical music concerts were recorded for people who:
    • had postgraduate degrees (36%), graduate diplomas and certificates (21%) or bachelor degrees (19%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (15%).


POPULAR MUSIC CONCERTS

Attendance

Some 3,833,600 people aged 18 years and over attended popular music concerts in the 12 months before interview in 2002. This represented an attendance rate of 26%.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of those who had attended popular music concerts during the 12-month period had attended more than once.


Area of residence

Attendance rates ranged from 23% for Queensland residents to 33% for those living in the Australian Capital Territory.


Characteristics of attendees

The attendance rates for males and females were similar (27% and 26% respectively). Attendance rates declined with increasing age - over two-fifths (44%) of people aged 18-24 years had been to popular music concerts in the previous 12 months, while about one-third (33%) of 25-34 year olds had attended. This compares with 8% of people aged 75 years and over.

The highest attendance rates for popular music concerts were recorded for people who:
    • were in ‘Other households’, such as unrelated adults who are sharing accommodation (30%)
    • had bachelor degrees (39%), postgraduate degrees (36%), or Year 12 as their highest educational attainment (35%)
    • were in the highest (39%) or second highest (30%) equivalised household income quintile.


THEATRE PERFORMANCES

Attendance

There were 2,607,100 people (18% of the population aged 18 years and over) who attended theatre performances in the 12 months before interview in 2002.

About one-half (52%) of those who had attended theatre performances during the 12-month period had attended more than once.


Area of residence

The Australian Capital Territory (25%), Western Australia (21%) and Victoria (19%) were the only states and territory where residents had attendance rates above the national average of 18%. The attendance rate for people living in the six state capital cities was 19%, compared with 16% for people living in the rest of Australia.


Characteristics of attendees

Females recorded higher attendance rates than males across all age groups - overall, 21% compared with 15%.

The highest attendance rates at theatre performances were recorded for people who:
    • were working part-time (24%)
    • had postgraduate degrees (47%) or graduate diplomas and certificates (38%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (29%).


DANCE PERFORMANCES


Attendance

There were 1,581,000 people in Australia, or over one-tenth (11%) of the population who attended dance performances in the 12 months before interview in 2002.

About half (51%) of those who had attended dance performances during the 12-month period had attended on multiple occasions.


Area of residence

The highest attendance rates were recorded by residents in the Australian Capital Territory (18%) and the Northern Territory (15%). The rate of attendance of people living in the six state capital cities was similar to the rate for people living elsewhere (both 11%).


Characteristics of attendees

Females were more likely than males to attend dance performances - they had an attendance rate of 13%, compared with 8% for males. The age group 35-44 years recorded the highest attendance rate (14%).

The highest attendance rates for dance performances were recorded for people who:
    • were working part-time (15%)
    • had graduate diplomas and certificates (21%), postgraduate degrees (21%) or bachelor degrees (17%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (15%).


MUSICALS AND OPERAS


Attendance
Almost one-fifth (19%) of people aged 18 years and over attended musicals and operas in the 12 months before interview in 2002. Some 2,486,400 people saw musicals and 423,400 saw operas.
Just under half (46%) of those who had attended musicals and operas during the 12-month period had been more than once. Less than 10% had attended more than three musicals and operas in that time.


Area of residence

Attendance rates for musicals and operas were similar for people in most states and territories - the highest rates recorded were for people living in Victoria (21%) and the Australian Capital Territory (20%).


Characteristics of attendees

Females were more likely to attend musicals and operas than males - the attendance rate for females was 22%, compared with 15% for males. Over one-fifth of people in each of the age groups 45-54 years and 55-64 years had been to a musical or opera in the 12 months before interview.

The highest attendance rates for musicals and operas were recorded for people who:
    • were working part-time (24%)
    • had graduate diplomas and certificates (36%), postgraduate degrees (35%), or bachelor degrees (32%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (31%).


OTHER PERFORMING ARTS


Attendance

Some 2,955,700 people (20% of the population aged 18 years and over) attended ‘Other performing arts’ events, such as variety shows, revues and circuses in the 12 months before interview.


Area of residence

People living in South Australia and Western Australia had the highest attendance rates at ‘Other performing arts’ (25% and 23% respectively). Western Australia residents recorded the highest attendance rate at circuses (12%, compared with the national average of 9%), while Tasmania residents recorded the highest attendance rate at variety shows and revues (13%, compared with the national average of 8%).


Characteristics of attendees

Females were slightly more likely than males to attend ‘Other performing arts’ (an attendance rate of 21% compared with 19%). People in the younger age groups generally had higher attendance rates than people in other age groups - 23% of 18-24 year olds and 24% of 25-34 year olds attended ‘Other performing arts’.


The highest attendance rates for 'Other performing arts' were recorded for people who:
    • were in couple families with dependent children (23%)
    • were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (24%)
    • were working part-time (24%)
    • had graduate diplomas and certificates (32%), postgraduate degrees (30%) or bachelor degrees (30%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (27%).


CINEMAS


Attendance

The cinema recorded the highest attendance rate of all the venues and events included in the survey, with 70% of people aged 18 years and over (12,789,500 people) having been to a cinema in the 12 months before interview.

Over half (56%) of those who had visited the cinema during the 12-month period had attended at least five times.


Area of residence

The highest attendance rates were recorded by residents in the Australian Capital Territory (81%), Western Australia (76%) and the Northern Territory (75%). People living in the six state capital cities were more likely to have visited the cinema than those in the rest of Australia (the attendance rates were 74% and 63% respectively).


Characteristics of attendees

Cinema attendance declined with age. Of 18-24 year olds, 92% had been to the cinema in the 12 months before interview. Older age groups recorded successively lower attendance rates, with those aged 75 years and over having an attendance rate of 31%. Overall, the attendance rate for females (72%) was slightly higher than the rate for males (68%).

The highest attendance rates for cinema were recorded for people who:
    • were in couple families with dependent children or in one-parent families with dependent children (both 77%)
    • were employed (80%)
    • had graduate diplomas and certificates (90%) or postgraduate degrees (90%)
    • were in the highest equivalised household income quintile (88%).

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.