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# Participation in Selected Cultural Activities, Australia methodology

Reference period
2017 - 2018
Released
26/03/2019
Next release Unknown
First release

## Explanatory notes

### Introduction

1 This publication contains results from the Cultural Participation Survey, a topic on the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) conducted throughout Australia from July 2017 to June 2018. The MPHS, undertaken each financial year by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics. In 2017-18, the topics were:

• Patient Experience
• Cultural Attendance
• Cultural Participation
• Crime Victimisation.

2 This publication covers the Cultural Participation topic (also referred to as the Cultural Participation Survey) and presents details about participants in selected cultural activities including performing arts, singing or playing a musical instrument, dancing, writing, visual art activities and craft activities. This publication also presents information about the characteristics of participants, the number of selected cultural activities in which people participated and whether participants volunteered or received income as part of their participation. Data for this topic has previously been collected on the MPHS in 2013–14. Information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics were also collected. For the first time, the Cultural Participation Survey 2017-18 also collected participation data for children aged 5-14 years.

### Scope and coverage

3 For the first time, the scope of the 2017-18 Cultural Participation Survey included both children aged 5-14 years and people aged 15 years and over who were usual residents of private dwellings and excludes:

• members of the Australian permanent defence forces
• certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments customarily excluded from Census and estimated resident population counts
• overseas residents in Australia
• members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia
• persons living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, boarding schools, hospitals, nursing homes, homes for people with disabilities, and prisons
• persons resident in the Indigenous Community Strata (ICS)
• children residing with parents or guardians who were all out of scope.

4 The scope for MPHS included households residing in urban, rural, remote and very remote parts of Australia, except the ICS.

5 In the LFS, rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person in coverage is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more detail.

### Data collection

6 Each month, one eighth of the dwellings in the LFS sample were rotated out of the survey. These dwellings were selected for the MPHS. In these dwellings, after the LFS had been fully completed for each person in scope and coverage, a usual resident aged 15 years or over was selected at random (based on a computer algorithm) and asked the additional MPHS questions in a personal interview. The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey and sample design, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, and consequently the MPHS. This publication also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing.

7 In the MPHS, if the randomly selected person was aged 15 to 17 years, permission was sought from a parent or guardian before conducting the interview. If permission was not given, the parent or guardian was asked the questions on behalf of the 15 to 17 year old (proxy interview).

8 If the randomly selected person was aged 18 years or over, they were asked additional questions to determine whether they were a parent or guardian for any children aged 5-14 years who were usual residents of the household. If the respondent was a parent or guardian, they were asked questions about cultural participation for up to two of their children aged 5-14 years. Children in scope were randomly selected based on a computer algorithm at the time of interview.

9 Data were collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses were recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer, with interviews conducted either face-to-face or over the telephone. The majority of interviews were conducted over the telephone.

### Sample size

10 After taking into account sample loss, the response rate for the Cultural Participation Survey was 71.1%. In total, information was collected from 28,243 fully responding persons. This includes 464 proxy interviews for people aged 15 to 17 years, where permission was not given by a parent or guardian for a personal interview, and 7,225 children aged 5-14 years whose parent or guardian was randomly selected to completed the MPHS.

### Weighting

11 Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in-scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each enumerated person. The weight is a value which indicates the number of persons in the population represented by the sample person.

12 The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. For example, if the probability of a person being selected in the survey was 1 in 600, then the person would have an initial weight of 600 (that is, they represent 600 people).

### Benchmarks

13 The initial weights are calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks'. Weights calibrated against population benchmarks ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself. Calibration to population benchmarks helps to compensate for over or under-enumeration of particular categories of persons/households which may occur due to either the random nature of sampling or non-response.

14 The survey was benchmarked to the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) living in private dwellings in each state and territory at December 2017, excluding people living in Indigenous communities. These benchmarks are based on the 2016 Census.

### Estimation

15 Survey estimates of counts of persons are obtained by summing the weights of persons with the characteristic of interest.

### Confidentiality

16 To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves a small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals. The introduction of perturbation in publications ensures that these statistics are consistent with statistics released via services such as TableBuilder.

### Reliability of estimates

17 All sample surveys are subject to error which can be broadly categorised as either sampling error or non-sampling error. For more information refer to the Technical Note.

18 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate, derived from a sample of dwellings, and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings in scope of the survey had been included.

19 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count of the population such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents, errors in recording of answers by interviewers, and errors in processing data. Every effort was made to reduce the non-sampling error by careful design, testing of the questionnaire, training and supervision of interviewers, follow-up of respondents, extensive editing, and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.

### Data quality

20 Information recorded in this survey is 'as reported' by respondents, and may differ from that which might be obtained from other sources or via other methodologies. This factor should be considered when interpreting the estimates in this publication.

21 A small proportion of respondents were resident in areas with no Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) scores allocated. For the purposes of the Cultural Participation Survey, these records have had a SEIFA decile imputed, based on the deciles of the surrounding areas. For information on SEIFA, see the Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) section below.

### Comparability of time series

22 The ABS has previously collected data on cultural participation in various surveys. The Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities Survey was conducted as part of the Monthly Population Survey in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007, and as part of the Population Survey Monitor in 1998–99, and the Participation in Selected Cultural Activities survey was conducted as part of the 2010–11 MPHS. For the 2010–11 survey, respondents who reported participating in more than three cultural activities in the 12 months before interview were asked to nominate the three activities they participated in the most. These respondents were then asked questions about each of these three activities, such as whether payment was received, the type of payment received and reasons for participation. For the 2013–14 survey, respondents were only asked additional questions for the cultural activity they participated in the most. In the 2017-18 survey, respondents were asked about the frequency of their participation, whether they received income from, or volunteered in each activity in scope.

23 While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to surveys, ongoing development is required to maintain and improve the integrity of the data. Key differences between 2017-18 and 2013-14 data are listed below.

24 The following content was collected in 2017-18 and not in 2013-14:

• Children's participation in drama activities
• Children's participation in singing or playing a musical instrument
• Children's participation in dancing
• Children's participation in art and craft activities
• Children's participation in creative writing
• Children's participation in screen based activities
• Children's participation in reading for pleasure.

25 The following content was changed in 2017-18 and cannot be compared to related 2013-14 data:

• Participation in a drama, comedy, musical or variety act
• Participation in visual art activities
• Participation in craft activities.

26 In 2017-18, the Cultural Participation Survey included children aged 5-14 years for the first time, and thus no time series data is available for this content. Caution should be taken when comparing across ABS surveys as estimates may differ from those obtained from other surveys (such as the Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities Survey) due to differences in survey mode, methodology and questionnaire design.

### Comparability to monthly LFS statistics

27 Since the Cultural Participation Survey is conducted as a supplement to the LFS, data items collected in the LFS are also available in this publication. However, there are some important differences between the two surveys. The LFS had a response rate of over 90% compared to the MPHS response rate of 71.1%. The scope of the Cultural Participation Survey and the LFS (refer to the Scope and Coverage section above) also differ. Due to the differences between the samples, data from the Cultural Participation Survey and the LFS are weighted separately. Differences may therefore be found in the estimates for those data items collected in the LFS and published as part of the Cultural Participation Survey.

### Geography

28 Australian geographic data are classified according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001). Remoteness areas are classified according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.005).

### Country of birth

29 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), Second Edition (cat. no. 1269.0).

### Industry

30 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).

### Occupation

31 Occupation data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classifications of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0).

### Education

32 Education data are classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0). The ASCED is a national standard classification which can be applied to all sectors of the Australian education system including schools, vocational education and training and higher education. The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education.

### Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

33 The 2017–18 survey uses the 2011 Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA).

34 SEIFA is a suite of four summary measures that have been created from 2011 Census information. Each index summarises a different aspect of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area. The indexes provide more general measures of socio-economic status than is given by measures such as income or unemployment alone.

35 For each index, every geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA number which shows how disadvantaged that area is compared with other areas in Australia.

36 The index used in the Cultural Participation publication is the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage, derived from Census variables related to disadvantage such as low income, low educational attainment, unemployment, jobs in relatively unskilled occupations and dwellings without motor vehicles.

37 SEIFA uses a broad definition of relative socio-economic disadvantage in terms of people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society. While SEIFA represents an average of all people living in an area, it does not represent the individual situation of each person. Larger areas are more likely to have greater diversity of people and households.

38 For more detail, see the following:

### Products and services

39 Data Cubes containing all tables for this publication in Excel spreadsheet format are available in the data download section. The spreadsheets present tables of estimates and proportions, and their corresponding relative standard errors (RSEs). Survey microdata from the Cultural Participation topic will be released through the TableBuilder product. For more details, please refer to the TableBuilder information, Cultural Activities, Australia (cat. no. 4921.0.55.001).

40 Special tabulations of the data are available on request. Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, tabulations can be produced from the survey incorporating data items, populations and geographic areas (including state and territory level data), tailored to individual requirements. These are provided in electronic form. A list of data items from the 2017-18 Cultural Participation Survey is available in the data download section. All enquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au.

41 For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

### Future surveys

42 The ABS is conducting the MPHS again during the 2018-19 financial year. The 2018-19 MPHS topics are:

• Qualifications and Work
• Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation
• Retirement and Retirement Intentions
• Patient Experience
• Crime Victimisation.

43 The next Cultural Participation Survey is scheduled to occur in 2021-22.

### Acknowledgements

44 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated and without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

45 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily upcoming release advice on the website that details products to be released in the week ahead.

## Technical note

### Reliability of the estimates

1 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample survey. Any data collection may encounter factors, known as non-sampling error, which can impact on the reliability of the resulting statistics. In addition, the reliability of estimates based on sample surveys are also subject to sampling variability. That is, the estimates may differ from those that would have been produced had all persons in the population been included in the survey. This is known as sampling error.

### Non-sampling error

2 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents or recording of answers by interviewers and errors in coding and processing data. Every effort is made to reduce non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, training and supervision of interviewers, and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing. It is not possible to quantify the non-sampling error.

### Sampling error

3 One measure of sampling error is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of persons was included. There are about two chances in three (67%) that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the number that would have been obtained if all persons had been surveyed, and about 19 chances in 20 (95%) that the difference will be less than two SEs.

4 Another measure of the likely difference is the relative standard error (RSE), which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the percentage error likely to have occurred due to sampling and therefore avoids the need to also refer to the size of the estimate.

$$\large R S E \%=\left(\frac{S E}{\text {estimate}}\right) \times 100$$

5 Only estimates (numbers or percentages) with RSEs less than 25% are considered sufficiently reliable for most analytical purposes. However, estimates with larger RSEs have been included. Estimates with an RSE in the range 25% to 50% should be used with caution while estimates with RSEs greater than 50% are considered too unreliable for general use. All cells in the Excel spreadsheets with RSEs greater than 25% have been annotated and footnoted.

6 The Excel spreadsheets in the data download section contain all the tables produced for this release and the calculated RSEs for each of the estimates.

### Calculations of standard error

7 Standard errors can be calculated using the estimates (counts or percentages) and the corresponding RSEs. See What is a Standard Error and Relative Standard Error, Reliability of estimates for Labour Force data for more details.

### Standard errors of proportions and estimates

8 Proportions and percentages formed from the ratio of two estimates are also subject to sampling errors. The size of the error depends on the accuracy of both the numerator and the denominator. A formula to approximate the RSE of a proportion is given below. This formula is only valid when x is a subset of y:

$$\large\ R S E\left(\frac{x}{y}\right) \approx \sqrt{[R S E(x)]^{2}-[R S E(y)]^{2}}$$

### Comparisons of estimates

9 The difference between two survey estimates (counts or percentages) can also be calculated from published estimates. Such an estimate is also subject to sampling error. The sampling error of the difference between two estimates depends on their SEs and the relationship (correlation) between them. An approximate SE of the difference between two estimates (x-y) may be calculated by the following formula:

$$\large\ S E(x-y) \approx \sqrt{[S E(x)]^{2}+[S E(y)]^{2}}$$

10 While this formula will only be exact for differences between separate and uncorrelated characteristics or sub populations, it provides a good approximation for the differences likely to be of interest in this publication.

### Significance testing

11 A statistical significance test for a comparison between estimates can be performed to determine whether it is likely that there is a difference between the corresponding population characteristics. The standard error of the difference between two corresponding estimates (x and y) can be calculated using the formula shown above in the Comparison of estimates section. This standard error is then used to calculate the following test statistic:

$$\LARGE {\frac{|x-y|}{S E(x-y)}}$$

where

$$\Large\ S E(y)=\frac{R S E(y) \times y}{100}$$

12 If the value of this test statistic is greater than 1.96 then there is evidence, with a 95% level of confidence, of a statistically significant difference in the two populations with respect to that characteristic. Otherwise, it cannot be stated with confidence that there is a real difference between the populations with respect to that characteristic.

## Glossary

### Show all

#### ​​​​​​​Couple with dependent children

A household consisting of a couple and at least one dependent child usually resident in the household. Related non-dependent children may also be present in the household. Households which also have other related or unrelated residents are included.

#### Couple only

A household consisting of a couple with no other related or unrelated persons usually resident.

#### Creative activity (children)

Includes participation in drama activities, singing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, art and craft, creative writing and creating digital content. Excludes participation in screen based activities and reading for pleasure.

A cultural activity has been defined as an activity in which a person has participated, which has not been done for secondary or tertiary studies. Respondents were asked whether they participated in each of the selected cultural activities listed below, in the 12 months before interview:

• drama, comedy, musical or variety act (including acting on stage and film, street theatre, stand-up comedy, opera, cabaret, circus performances and rehearsals and classes)
• singing or playing a musical instrument as a soloist or as part of a band, choir or orchestra (including singing or playing in a public forum with an audience, such as a church choir, performing at an aged care facility or retirement home. Also included is practicing and having lessons. Excludes informal or impromptu singing around the home or karaoke.)
• dancing, including rehearsals or classes (including dancing for which the respondent has practised or taken lessons. Excludes dancing for another performance such as singing in a band and informal or impromptu dancing such as at weddings or nightclubs)
• writing song lyrics or mixing or composing music, including digital composition
• writing any fiction or non–fiction such as stories, poetry, scripts or blogs
• visual art activities such as painting, drawing or sculpting (including face and body painting, cartooning, digital art pieces, tattooing, printmaking, screen printing and etching)
• craft activities (including knitting, embroidery, cross stitch, tapestries, quilting, applique, dressmaking or tailoring, jewellery making, beading, scrapbooking, card making, collage, wood crafts, pottery, ceramics and mosaics. Respondents were asked to exclude mending, repairing and maintenance for clothing and wood craft)
• photography, film–making or editing, apart from personal events (excluding acting in a film, scriptwriting and use of video or DVD as a tool in another activity)
• designing websites, computer games or interactive software
• fashion, interior or graphic design (excluding home DIY projects).

#### Cultural activity (children)

A cultural activity has been defined as an activity in which a child has participated in outside of school hours. Outside school hours is defined as the period outside the hours of 9am to 3pm or the hours prescribed by the school, kindergarten/pre-school or home-school. Included were visits while at after-school care, weekends and public holidays. Attendance during lunchtimes on school days was excluded. Respondents were asked whether their selected children participated in each of the selected cultural activities listed below, in the 12 months before interview:

• drama activities, including practicing, having lessons and giving performances (including acting on stage or film, street theatre, comedy and circus acts)
• singing or playing a musical instrument, including practicing, having lessons and giving performances (including singing or playing in a public forum with an audience, such as a church choir, performing at an aged care facility or retirement home and activities undertaken while at out of school hours care. Excludes informal or impromptu singing around the home.)
• dancing, including practicing, having lessons and giving performances (including activities undertaken while at out of school hours care. Excludes informal or impromptu dancing around the home.)
• art and craft activities (including art and craft activities undertaken at home, after school art classes, private art lessons, craft groups, participating in art/craft workshops, participating in school holiday programs at an art gallery, workshops complementing professional companies' performances for children such as puppet or lantern making)
• creative writing, including stories, poetry, scripts or blogs
• creating digital content such as websites, images, videos or games
• screen based activities such as watching TV, using the Internet or playing screen based games (including playing games on consoles and activities via smart phones or tablets)
• reading for pleasure (including reading magazines, newspapers, comics, eBooks, and where a child requires assistance to read).

#### Deciles

Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population.

#### Employed

All people aged 15 years and over who, during the week prior to interview:

• worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers)
• worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers)
• were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:

• away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week
• away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week
• away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement
• on strike or locked out
• on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job, or

• were employers or own account workers, who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.

#### Equivalised household income

Equivalising adjusts actual income to take into account the different needs of households of different sizes and compositions. There are economic advantages associated with living with others, because household resources, especially housing, can be shared. The equivalence scale used to obtain equivalised income is that used in studies by the Organisation for Economic Co–operation and Development (OECD) and is referred to as the 'modified OECD scale'. The scale gives a weight of 1.0 to the first adult in the household, a weight of 0.5 for each additional adult (persons aged 15 years and over) and a weight of 0.3 for every child. For each household, the weights of the household members are added together to form a household weight. Total household income is then divided by the household weight to give an income that a lone person household would need for a similar standard of living. Equivalised household income can be viewed as an indicator of the economic resources available to each member of the household.

#### Frequency of involvement

This refers to the average number of hours per week and the number of weeks in the 12 months before interview during which a person participated in a cultural activity.

#### Full-time employed

Includes employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

#### Income

Income consists of all current receipts, whether monetary or in kind, that are received by the household or by individual members of the household, and which are available for, or intended to support, current consumption.

Income includes receipts from:

• wages and salaries and other receipts from employment (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of salary sacrificed and/or salary package arrangements
• profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships)
• net investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties)
• government pensions and allowances
• private transfers (e.g. superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and financial support received from family members not living in the same household).

Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted. Other measures of income are Disposable income and Equivalised disposable household income.

Note that child support and other transfers from other households are not deducted from the incomes of the households making the transfers.

#### Labour force status

A classification of the civilian population aged 15 years and over into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force, as defined. The definitions conform closely to the international standard definitions adopted by the International Conferences of Labour Statisticians.

#### Level of highest educational attainment

The highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is not a measurement of the relative importance of different fields of study but a ranking of qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular area of study or the type of institution in which the study was undertaken. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education, 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0) Level of education classification.

#### Lone person household

A household consisting of a person living alone.

#### Not in the labour force

People who were not in the categories employed or unemployed as defined.

#### One-parent with dependent children

A household consisting of a lone parent and at least one dependent child usually resident in the household. Related non-dependent children may also be present in the household. Households which also have other related or unrelated residents are included.

#### Other households

Comprises all households not otherwise defined, including multiple family households, and households consisting of unrelated adults.

Participation in any of the selected cultural activities for which people received a wage or salary (including from a person's own incorporated business), received income from their own unincorporated business or partnership, worked on commission, received payment by the piece or item produced, or received any other form of income. Payment also includes the provision of goods and services (i.e. payment in kind). Wages and salaries exclude dividends from shares in an incorporated business and Newstart or Youth Allowance received under the Work for the Dole Scheme.

#### Participation rate

For any group, this is the number of people participating in the selected cultural activities, expressed as a percentage of the population in the same group.

#### Part-time employed

Includes employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work in the reference week.

#### Quintiles

Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into 5 equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population.

#### Unemployed

People aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and:

• had actively looked for full–time or part–time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week, or
• were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.

#### Volunteer

A participant in any of the selected cultural activities who willingly gave unpaid help, in the form of time, service or skills, to or through an organisation or group.

## Quality declaration

### Institutional environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see the ABS Institutional Environment.

### Relevance

Data on Cultural Participation were collected as part of the 2017–18 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). Respondents were asked questions about their involvement in selected cultural activities in the last 12 months, regardless of whether the participation is as a result of a person's work or as a hobby activity. However, participation through formal education is excluded. The type of information collected included the frequency of their participation, whether children received lessons in selected activities and whether adults participated either for income or as a volunteer. In the MPHS, information is collected from one person selected at random in each selected household, and for the first time in this survey, the random person was also interviewed in relation to up to two of their children aged 5-14 years who were also selected at random. The MPHS is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect annual statistics on a small number of self-contained topics.

The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes members of the permanent defence forces; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from Census and estimated resident populations; overseas residents in Australia; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants). Refer to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for further information regarding the LFS. In addition, the 2017–18 MPHS excluded persons living in Indigenous communities and persons living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of other institutions (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities).

The data collected provides broad level information to assist in monitoring a range of programs and policies in the field of culture and the arts.

### Timeliness

The MPHS is conducted annually with enumeration undertaken each month over the financial year period from July 2017 to June 2018. The survey reference period relates to participation in cultural activities in the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Generally, data from the MPHS are released approximately 6–9 months after enumeration.

### Accuracy

The LFS, and consequently the MPHS, is primarily designed to provide estimates for the whole of Australia and, secondly, for each state and territory.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error (SE). There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs. Measures of the relative standard errors (RSE) of the estimates for this survey are included with this release.

Only estimates with RSEs less than 25% are considered sufficiently reliable for most purposes. Estimates with RSEs between 25% and 50% have been included and are annotated to indicate they are subject to high sample variability and should be used with caution. In addition, estimates with RSEs greater than 50% have also been included and annotated to indicate they are considered too unreliable for general use.

### Coherence

The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey. However, sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain and improve the integrity of the data. Due to changes in the questionnaire, certain data items from each iteration of the Cultural Participation Survey are not comparable year to year. For changes between iterations of the survey please refer to the Data Comparability section of the Explanatory Notes.

Due to differences in collection methods and question wording, data collected in the Cultural Participation Survey may not be comparable with data from other ABS surveys, such as the Survey of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities.

### Interpretability

To aid in the interpretation of the data, detailed information on concepts, definitions, terminology and other technical aspects of the survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.

### Accessibility

All tables and associated RSEs are available in Excel spreadsheets which can be accessed from the data download section.

Additional tables may also be available on request. The data download section also includes a document containing a complete list of the data items available. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs, which in some cases may result in data being confidentialised.

Data from this survey will also be accessible in the TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create their own customised output as required. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website.

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

## Abbreviations

The following abbreviations are used in this publication:

### Show all

 ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics ASGS Australian Statistical Geography Standard CAI computer assisted interviewing ERP Estimated Resident Population GSS General Social Survey ICS Indigenous Community Strata LFS Labour Force Survey MPHS Multipurpose Household Survey RSE relative standard error SACC Standard Australian Classification of Countries SE standard error SEIFA Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas