Public Value - Participation - Overview
Tag : children

Australian attitudes to the arts are increasingly positive with 89 percent of people in agreement that 'The arts should be an important part of the education of every Australian' in 2013.

Over eight in ten agreed that the arts make for a richer and more meaningful life (85 percent) and it is exciting to see new styles and types of art (84 percent), significant increases from 2009.


Attendance and Engagement - Participation - Overview
Tag : children

In 2012, 18 percent of children aged 5 to 14 played a musical instrument compared to 14 percent of children played soccer.

It's hardly surprising then, that young people (aged 15-24 years old) have higher levels of creative participation with the arts than other Australians. Almost two thirds (65 percent) creatively participated in the arts in the previous 12 months, compared to 44 percent for the rest of the population.


Children’s attendance at performing arts events and museums or galleries increased between 2006 and 2012

Around seven in ten Australian children aged 5 to 14 years attended at least one selected cultural venue or event outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to collection of ABS data in April 2012. Over half of children visited a public library (53 percent), over four in ten visited a museum or gallery (43 percent) and 39 percent attended a performing arts event.

Attendance for museums or galleries increased significantly from 37 percent in 2006 to 43 percent, and attendance at performing arts events increased significantly from 30 percent in 2006 to 39 percent. Library visitation has declined slightly from 55 percent in 2006 to 53 percent.

Female children were more likely to attend at least one selected cultural venue or event in 2011-12 than male children (74 percent vs. 68 percent). Children aged 5-11 were more likely to have attended at least one cultural venue/event than children aged 12-14 (72 percent compared to 68 percent, respectively). Children aged 5-11 were also slightly more likely to visit a public library, museum or gallery, or attend a performing art event than older children (aged 12-14).


Over one third of children creatively participated in an arts activity in 2012

More than one third of children aged 5 to 14 years (980,700) participated in at least one organised cultural activity (playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama or organised art and craft) outside of school hours.

The proportion of children dancing in 2012 (15 percent) has increased since 2006 (13 percent), while fewer children are now playing a musical instrument (18 percent in 2012 compared with 20 percent in 2006).

Nearly half of all female children (47 percent) participated in at least one organised cultural activity, compared with 24 percent of male children. Dancing was the most popular activity for females (367,400 participants), followed by playing a musical instrument (261,400 participants). Playing a musical instrument was the most popular activity for males (228,800 participated).

The proportion of children reading for pleasure has decreased from 75 percent in 2006 to 71 percent in 2012. Female children are more likely to read for pleasure (77 percent) than male children (65 percent). Female children were also more creatively involved in recreational art and craft (54 percent participation) than male children (33 percent participation).

Figure 54 - Children’s participation in leisure activities outside of school

Participation rate2006 %2009 %2012 %
Organised cultural participation
Playing a musical instrument202018
Organised art and craft7
Participation in recreational activities
Recreational art and craft43
Reading for pleasure757271
Skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter4954
Bike riding686064
Watching TV, DVDs or videos979796
Other screen-based activities8385
Homework or other study838281