Participation in the arts

Published

Last updated 5 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2018 to 2019, 77.4% of people aged 16 and over took part in the arts (like going to an exhibition or performing in a play) at least once in the past year
  • this figure has generally been stable since 2012 to 2013
  • 88.7% of people with Mixed ethnicity took part in the arts, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of people aged 16 and over who had done one of the following in the past year:

  • taken part in an activity like performing in a concert or play
  • taken part in art, photography or filmmaking as an artistic activity
  • attended an arts event like an exhibition, live performance or play

The data covers people living in private households in England.

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Not included in the data

The data does not include:

  • people who live in institutional settings (such as hospitals or prisons)
  • people who live in temporary housing (such as hostels or bed and breakfasts)
  • homeless people

The ethnic groups used in the data

Data is shown for 5 aggregated ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

This means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about any of the 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for the data on this page.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:

In the data file

See Download the data for confidence intervals for each ethnic group. Find out more about how confidence intervals are used to determine how reliable estimates are.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage of people aged 16 and over who took part in the arts in the past year, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Number of respondents
All 77.4 8,161
Asian 59.7 487
Black 68.5 226
Mixed 88.7 121
White 79.3 7,239
Other 66.5 46

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Participation in the arts By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2018 to 2019, 77.4% of people aged 16 and over had taken part in the arts in the past year
  • 88.7% of people with Mixed ethnicity took part in the arts, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups

4. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of people aged 16 and over who took part in the arts in the past year, by ethnicity over time
All Asian Black Mixed White Other
Time All % All Number of respondents Asian % Asian Number of respondents Black % Black Number of respondents Mixed % Mixed Number of respondents White % White Number of respondents Other % Other Number of respondents
2012/13 78.4 9,838 66.0 394 73.4 188 79.1 171 79.5 9,054 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 22
2013/14 77.5 10,355 65.2 404 72.8 203 82.9 142 78.5 9,546 74.9 49
2014/15 76.8 9,817 66.7 367 66.7 239 80.0 99 77.9 9,050 66.8 52
2015/16 76.1 10,171 59.3 434 69.7 242 81.8 119 77.6 9,312 72.3 55
2016/17 77.4 9,352 66.8 423 68.7 242 81.4 170 78.5 8,473 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 27
2017/18 78.9 7,715 64.4 397 74.0 203 86.8 144 80.1 6,854 72.5 79
2018/19 77.4 8,161 59.7 487 68.5 226 88.7 121 79.3 7,239 66.5 46

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Participation in the arts By ethnicity over time Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2012 to 2013 and 2018 to 2019, the percentage of people aged 16 and over taking part in the arts remained stable, ranging between 76.1% and 78.9%
  • in each ethnic group, the percentage of people who engaged with the arts at least once in the past year remained broadly consistent

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Publication frequency

Twice a year

Purpose of data source

The Taking Part Survey measures people's involvement in cultural activities in England.

The data is widely used by policy officials, practitioners, academics and charities.

6. Download the data

Adults taking part in the arts - Spreadsheet (csv) 8 KB

This file contains: Measure, Time, Ethnicity, Geography, Value, Upper bound, Lower bound, Number of respondents