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4901.0.55.001 - Children's Participation in Sport and Leisure Time Activities, 2003 - 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2012   
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POPULARITY BY AGE

Contributing to the popularity of outdoor soccer was the increase in participation by girls aged 5-8 years (3% to 5%) and 12-14 years (5% to 8%) from 2003 to 2012. Though participation by girls aged 9-11 years also increased (from 5% in 2003 to 7% in 2012) there was not enough evidence to suggest that this difference was statistically significant. The increasing popularity of dancing was also reflected in increases in participation by girls and boys in all age groups between 2003 and 2012. The only significant difference, however, was for girls and boys aged 5-8 years with participation increasing from 27% to 32% for girls and from 1% to 4% for boys.

3.2 Children participating in top 3 organised sports (including dancing)(a)(b), By age and sex - 2003 to 2012

NUMBER ('000)
PARTICIPATION RATE (%)
2003
2006
2009
2012
2003
2006
2009
2012

5-8 YEARS

MALES
Swimming/Diving
126.9
126.2
134.5
141.5
23.7
23.8
24.6
24.5
Dancing
*7.3
12.9
17.0
24.6
*1.4
2.4
3.1
4.3
Soccer (outdoor)
118.7
106.6
112.4
126.9
22.2
20.1
20.6
22.0
FEMALES
Swimming/Diving
117.7
128.2
145.2
134.0
23.2
25.4
28.0
24.5
Dancing
137.1
136.7
161.6
175.0
27.0
27.1
31.1
32.0
Soccer (outdoor)
13.7
22.9
26.8
28.3
2.7
4.5
5.2
5.2
PERSONS
Swimming/Diving
244.6
254.3
279.7
275.5
23.5
24.6
26.2
24.5
Dancing
144.4
149.6
178.6
199.6
13.8
14.5
16.8
17.8
Soccer (outdoor)
132.3
129.6
139.2
155.2
12.7
12.5
13.1
13.8

9-11 YEARS

MALES
Swimming/Diving
64.8
64.7
74.2
65.1
15.7
15.6
17.7
15.4
Dancing
9.5
12.4
13.5
*19.3
2.3
3.0
3.2
*4.6
Soccer (outdoor)
103.7
88.2
88.6
101.9
25.1
21.3
21.1
24.2
FEMALES
Swimming/Diving
75.2
75.1
79.5
84.2
19.2
19.1
19.9
20.9
Dancing
93.6
90.3
106.0
111.0
23.9
23.0
26.5
27.6
Soccer (outdoor)
21.2
29.6
23.7
28.7
5.4
7.5
5.9
7.1
PERSONS
Swimming/Diving
139.9
139.8
153.7
149.3
17.4
17.3
18.8
18.1
Dancing
103.1
102.7
119.5
130.3
12.8
12.7
14.6
15.8
Soccer (outdoor)
124.9
117.8
112.3
130.7
15.5
14.6
13.7
15.9

12-14 YEARS

MALES
Swimming/Diving
21.9
34.8
31.4
28.5
5.4
8.3
7.3
6.6
Dancing
5.3
7.2
11.4
6.8
1.3
1.7
2.6
1.6
Soccer (outdoor)
78.7
73.6
76.8
80.9
19.3
17.5
17.9
18.8
FEMALES
Swimming/Diving
32.7
33.6
38.1
38.7
8.4
8.4
9.3
9.5
Dancing
76.4
73.1
80.8
81.4
19.6
18.2
19.8
19.9
Soccer (outdoor)
20.0
30.1
32.1
30.8
5.1
7.5
7.9
7.6
PERSONS
Swimming/Diving
54.6
68.4
69.5
67.3
6.8
8.3
8.3
8.0
Dancing
81.7
80.3
92.2
88.2
10.2
9.8
11.0
10.5
Soccer (outdoor)
98.7
103.7
108.9
111.7
12.4
12.6
13.0
13.3

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Children aged 5-14 years who participated in organised sport and/or dancing outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April of the survey year.
(b) The top 3 organised sports for children aged 5-14 years.
Source: ABS data available on request, Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2012.


Since 2003, swimming and diving has remained the most popular sport for children aged 5-8 years. For older children (aged 12-14 years), outdoor soccer, netball and dancing were the most popular sports in 2012, with participation rates of 13% for outdoor soccer and 11% for both netball and dancing.

The participation rate of children aged 5-8 years in dancing increased between 2003 and 2012 (from 14% to 18%).

Though the participation rate for children aged 9-11 years increased for martial arts (from 5% in 2003 to 7% in 2012) there was not enough evidence to suggest that this difference was statistically significant. Participation in tennis by children aged 9-11 years, however, decreased from 12% to 8%.

Between 2003 and 2012, the participation of children aged 12-14 years decreased for tennis (9% to 7%).

3.3 Children participating in top 10 organised sports and/or dancing in 2012(a), By age - Persons - 2000 to 2012

NUMBER ('000)
PARTICIPATION RATE (%)
2003
2006
2009
2012
2003
2006
2009
2012

5-8 YEARS

Swimming/Diving
244.6
254.3
279.7
275.5
23.5
24.6
26.2
24.5
Dancing
144.4
149.6
178.6
199.6
13.8
14.5
16.8
17.8
Soccer (outdoor)
132.3
129.6
139.2
155.2
12.7
12.5
13.1
13.8
Tennis (indoor and outdoor)
66.0
59.8
69.5
84.3
6.3
5.8
6.5
7.5
Australian Rules football
71.3
69.8
77.8
83.5
6.8
6.7
7.3
7.4
Gymnastics(b)
. .
. .
. .
75.3
. .
. .
. .
6.7
Martial arts
51.7
49.3
68.0
66.5
5.0
4.8
6.4
5.9
Basketball (indoor and outdoor)
48.0
36.3
43.3
48.2
4.6
3.5
4.1
4.3
Netball (indoor and outdoor)
46.0
44.7
39.1
47.0
4.4
4.3
3.7
4.2
Cricket (outdoor)
28.5
36.2
37.8
37.7
2.7
3.5
3.6
3.4

9-11 YEARS

Swimming/Diving
139.9
139.8
153.7
149.3
17.4
17.3
18.8
18.1
Soccer (outdoor)
124.9
117.8
112.3
130.7
15.5
14.6
13.7
15.9
Dancing
103.1
102.7
119.5
130.3
12.8
12.7
14.6
15.8
Basketball (indoor and outdoor)
75.8
64.3
65.8
87.6
9.4
7.9
8.0
10.6
Netball (indoor and outdoor)
94.6
99.5
96.5
85.0
11.7
12.3
11.8
10.3
Australian Rules football
59.6
73.5
76.7
78.0
7.4
9.1
9.4
9.5
Tennis (indoor and outdoor)
94.0
71.9
75.8
65.9
11.7
8.9
9.2
8.0
Martial arts
41.7
39.3
57.4
55.5
5.2
4.9
7.0
6.7
Cricket (outdoor)
48.1
47.9
52.4
44.2
6.0
5.9
6.4
5.4
Rugby league
29.0
38.8
33.9
40.5
3.6
4.8
4.1
4.9

12-14 YEARS

Soccer (outdoor)
98.7
103.7
108.9
111.7
12.4
12.6
13.0
13.3
Netball (indoor and outdoor)
100.6
81.6
92.9
90.7
12.6
9.9
11.1
10.8
Dancing
81.7
80.3
92.2
88.2
10.2
9.8
11.0
10.5
Basketball (indoor and outdoor)
81.2
75.8
92.8
84.4
10.2
9.2
11.1
10.1
Swimming/Diving
54.6
68.4
69.5
67.3
6.8
8.3
8.3
8.0
Australian Rules football
62.7
57.1
80.5
65.1
7.8
6.9
9.6
7.8
Tennis (indoor and outdoor)
68.5
63.5
69.5
55.0
8.6
7.7
8.3
6.6
Cricket (outdoor)
57.0
59.3
52.3
48.9
7.1
7.2
6.2
5.8
Martial arts
36.3
31.8
29.2
39.1
4.5
3.9
3.5
4.7
Rugby league
29.9
36.8
40.7
37.6
3.7
4.5
4.9
4.5

. . not applicable
(a) Children aged 5-14 years who participated in organised sport and/or dancing outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April of the survey year.
(b) In 2009, callisthenics was included in the Gymnastics category. In 2012, callisthenics was excluded from organised sport altogether, and cheerleading was included in the Gymnastics category. Therefore the data are not comparable.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia (cat. no. 4901.0).






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