### Methodology

The Taking Part Survey measures cultural activity by people aged 16 years and over, as well as children aged 5 to 10 years and 11 to 15 years. Respondents must be living in private households in England, but there is no geographical restriction on where the activity or event occurred.

The sample for the Taking Part survey is chosen by first randomly selecting households from the Postcode Address File.

An interviewer visits these addresses and, if contact is made, records details of all individuals living at each address. One adult, and where applicable one child aged 5 to 10 and one aged 11 to 15, is then selected to participate in the survey.

The figures presented here only apply to people 16 and over.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.

For example, a survey which contains 25% women and 75% men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know has an even 50/50 split. Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.

Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.

The data in the Taking Part sample is weighted to make sure it is representative of the population in England. The data is weighted to:

- compensate for unequal probabilities of selection
- adjust for non-responses

Weighting is based on mid-year population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

Confidence intervals:

You can see confidence intervals for each ethnic group if you download the data.

In 2016/17, 34% of people aged 16 years and over responding to the Taking Part Survey question had used a public library in the past year. This is a reliable estimate of the percentage of people in England who used a public library in that period. But because the Taking Part Survey is based on a random sample, it’s impossible to be 100% certain of the true percentage.

It’s 95% certain, however, that somewhere between 33% and 35% of all people aged 16 years and over in England used a public library. In statistical terms, this is a 95% confidence interval. This means that if 100 random samples were taken, then 95 times out of 100 the estimate would fall between the upper and lower confidence interval. But 5 times out of 100 it would fall outside this range.

The smaller the survey sample, the more uncertain the estimate and the wider the confidence interval. For example, the number of Black people aged 16 years and over responding to the survey in 2015/16 (242 respondents) was much smaller than the overall population that responded to the survey (10,171 respondents), so we can be less certain about the estimate for the smaller group (Black people, 48%). This greater uncertainty is expressed by a wider confidence interval, of between 39% and 56% for Black people in 2015/16.

All the differences noted in the text are statistically significant. The statistical significance of differences are approximate because they are determined where the 95% confidence intervals for 2 groups or time periods don't overlap.

### Rounding

Percentages are given to the nearest whole number.

Quality and methodology information