The Australia Council arts participation survey 2013 explored how much impact the arts is seen to have across twelve different areas.
The arts have the most impact on child development where two thirds of Australians believe the arts have a big or very big impact. This aligns with attitudes towards ‘The Arts are an important part of the education of every Australian’ where 89 percent agree.
The other areas where the majority of Australians feel the arts have a key impact are focussed on benefits to individuals. Australians think that the arts have a big impact on: our ability to express ourselves (61 percent); to think creatively and develop new ideas (59 percent); our ability to deal with stress, anxiety or depression (56 percent); and to improve our sense of wellbeing and happiness (52 percent).
Fewer Australians feel that the arts impact the wider community than impact individual benefits. Only one third of Australians think the arts have a big impact on our empathy for others (only 36 percent) or on our connections with family and friends (33 percent).
The economy is an area where many Australians believe the arts do not have an impact - less than one in four Australians (22 percent) think the Arts have a big or very big impact here.