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4174.0 - Sports Attendance, Australia, Apr 1999  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/1999   
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CHARACTERISTICS OF SPECTATORS

SUMMARY

During the 12 months ending April 1999, 7.0 million persons, or 47.1% of the Australian population aged 15 years and over, attended sporting matches or competitions (excluding junior and school sport).


AGE AND SEX

One million more males than females attended sport at some time during the 12 months prior to April 1999. More than half of the male population aged 15 years and over (54.7%) attended sport compared with 39.8% of females.

For both sexes, sports attendance gradually declined with age. The attendance rate for persons aged 15–24 years was 63.1% and nearly three times that of persons aged 65 years and over (21.8%).


For each age group, males had an attendance rate significantly higher than that for females.


SPORTS ATTENDANCE, By Age and Sex

AREA OF RESIDENCE

Persons living outside the six State capital cities had a marginally higher attendance rate (48.5%) than persons residing in the capital city regions (46.3%). Northern Territory had the highest attendance rate (58.6%), while New South Wales (42.4%) and Queensland (42.9%) had the lowest rates.

SPORTS ATTENDANCE, By State or Territory of Usual Residence and Sex

BIRTHPLACE

Australian-born persons had an attendance rate of 52.8%. This was 21 percentage points higher than the rate for overseas-born Australians (32.0%). Of the latter group, persons born in the main English-speaking countries had a rate of 41.9% and persons from other overseas countries had a rate of 25.5%.


EMPLOYMENT STATUS

Employed persons had a higher attendance rate (57.7%) than those who were unemployed (47.8%). Both rates were significantly higher than the attendance rate of persons not in the labour force (29.7%).


OCCUPATION

Attendance rates by occupation varied from 53.2% (for labourers and related workers) to 62.4% (for associate professionals).


MAIN SPORTS ATTENDED

Australian Rules was the most popular spectator sport, attracting 2.5 million persons or 16.8% of the population 15 years of age and over. Horse racing (excluding harness racing) was the second most popular with 1.8 million persons (11.8%).

Other sports attracting more than a million spectators were motor sports (1.6 million persons) and Rugby League (1.5 million persons).


Cricket, soccer, harness racing and basketball all attracted over half of a million persons.


The attendance rate for males was higher than that for females for most of the main spectator sports. Nearly half a million more males than females attended Australian Rules, while at least twice as many males as females attended motor sports, cricket and Rugby Union. Netball was an exception with at least three times as many female spectators as males.

MAIN SPORTS ATTENDED, 12 months ending April 1999


Sport
Persons
('000)
Attendance rate
%

Australian rules
2,509.2
16.8
Horse racing
1,756.4
11.8
Motor sports
1,574.3
10.6
Rugby league
1,501.1
10.1
Cricket
942.5
6.3
Soccer
621.2
4.2
Harness racing
534.8
3.6
Basketball
526.0
3.5
Rugby union
446.2
3.0
Tennis
444.0
3.0
Dog racing
276.4
1.9
Netball
248.7
1.7




ATTENDANCE AT MAIN SPORTS, By Sex


FREQUENCY OF ATTENDANCE

There were significant differences in the frequency of attendance for the various sports. More than two-thirds of persons attending dog racing, tennis and motor sports only went once or twice. Over half (54.8%) of netball spectators went at least six times.


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents results from the Survey of Sports Attendance, April 1999. The survey obtained data about the characteristics of persons who attend sporting matches or competitions as spectators (excluding junior and school sport) and provides an update to data collected in March 1995. The survey was conducted to assist sporting bodies to understand the profile of their spectators and was developed in consultation with the Commonwealth's National Office of Sport and Recreation Policy, the Australian Sports Commission and State Recreation and Sports Departments.

Details on the number of persons who attended sporting matches or competitions in the 12 months ending April 1999 are provided. Socio-demographic details of these spectators, information about the most popular sports, and frequency of attendance are presented.


Information on attendance at selected cultural venues was also collected for the 12 months ending April 1999 and details were released in Attendance at selected cultural venues, Australia (cat. no. 4114.0).


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