Adults visiting museums and galleries

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The main facts and figures show that:

  • significantly more people visited a museum or gallery in 2015/16 (53%) than in 2005/06 (42%)

  • this rise in the percentage of people visiting museums and galleries was seen across all ethnic groups

  • in 2005/06, 2010/11 and 2015/16 White people (including White ethnic minorities) were more likely than Black people to have visited museums or galleries

  • in 2005/06 and 2010/11 White people were more likely than Asian people to have visited museums or galleries; however, there was no significant difference between the percentage of White and Asian people visiting in 2015/16

Things you need to know

These figures are estimates based on responses to the Taking Part Survey.

The Taking Part survey is a ‘sample survey’. It collects information from a random sample of the population to make generalisations (reach ‘findings’) about the total population.

Unless stated otherwise, the commentary for this data includes only reliable, or ‘statistically significant’, findings. Findings are statistically significant when we can be confident that they can be repeated, and are reflective of the total population rather than just the survey sample.

Specifically, the statistical tests used mean we can be confident that if we carried out the same survey on different random samples of the population, 19 times out of 20 we would get similar findings.

As with all surveys, the estimates from the Taking Part survey are subject to a degree of uncertainty as they are based on a sample of the population. The degree of uncertainty is greater when the number of respondents is small, so it will be highest for ethnic minority groups.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England who had visited a museum or gallery in the year before taking the survey.

Percentages are calculated out of yearly totals of survey respondents. Results are adjusted to make them representative of the population as a whole.

The ethnic categories used in this data

For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories.

For the years 2005/06, 2010/11 and 2015/16, the number of respondents was large enough to break ethnicity down into 4 broad groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • White (which includes White ethnic minorities)
  • Other (which includes people of Mixed ethnicity)

For all other years since 2006/07, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad categories:

  • White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Percentage of people who visited a museum or gallery in the past year, by ethnicity

Ethnicity % Number of respondents
All 53 10,171
Asian 50 434
Black 41 242
White 53 9,312
Other 53 174

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • 53% of people visited a museum or gallery at least once in 2015/16

  • Black people (41%) were significantly less likely to have visited a museum or gallery than White people (53%) (including White British and White ethnic minorities)

  • there was no significant difference between the percentage of White (53%) and Asian people (50%) visiting museums and galleries

Percentage of people who visited a museum or gallery in the past year, by ethnicity over time (3 years)

All Asian Black White Other
Year % Number of respondents % Number of respondents % Number of respondents % Number of respondents % Number of respondents
2005/06 42 28,117 35 2,080 32 1,322 43 24,038 41 645
2010/11 46 14,102 38 796 30 423 47 12,617 49 238
2015/16 53 10,171 50 434 41 242 53 9,312 53 174

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • White people (including those from White ethnic minorities) were more likely than Black people to have visited museums and galleries in 2005/06, 2010/11 and 2015/16

  • White people were more likely than Asian people to have visited museums and galleries in 2005/06 and 2010/11; however there was no significant difference between the groups in 2015/16

Percentage of people who visited a museum or gallery in the past year, by ethnicity over time

All White Other
Year % Number of respondents % Number of respondents % Number of respondents
2005/06 42 28,117 43 24,038 35 4,047
2006/07 41 24,174 42 21,317 34 2,829
2007/08 44 25,720 44 22,794 39 2,880
2008/09 43 14,452 44 12,979 37 1,451
2009/10 46 6,097 47 5,455 40 630
2010/11 46 14,102 47 12,617 38 1,457
2011/12 49 9,188 49 8,301 44 871
2012/13 53 9,838 54 9,054 45 775
2013/14 53 10,355 54 9,545 49 798
2014/15 52 9,817 53 9,050 43 757
2015/16 53 10,171 53 9,312 48 850

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2005/06 and 2015/16 significantly more people visited a museum or gallery – visits by White people increased by 10 percentage points, while visits by people from all other ethnicities increased by 13 percentage points

  • in 2005/06, White adults were significantly more likely to have visited museums and galleries, at 43%, than adults from all other ethnic groups, at 35% – by 2015/16 there was no significant difference

Methodology

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 years and one aged 11 to 15 years, is then selected to participate in the survey.

The figures presented here only apply to people aged 16 years 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-2014 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 2015/16, 76% of adults responding to the Taking Part Survey question had taken part in the arts. This is a reliable estimate of the percentage of adults in England who took part in the arts in that period. But because the Taking Part Survey is based on a random sample of adults, it’s impossible to be 100% certain of the true percentage.

It’s 95% certain, however, that somewhere between 75% and 77% of all adults in England took part in the arts. 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 adults responding to the survey in 2015/16 (242 respondents) was much smaller than the overall adult population that responded to the survey (10,171 respondents), so we can be less certain about the estimate for the smaller group (Black adults, 70%). This greater uncertainty is expressed by a wider confidence interval, of between 62% and 78% for Black adults 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.

Further technical information

Taking Part technical reports

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.

Secondary source

Publisher

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Publication frequency

Ad-hoc

Download the data

Adults visiting museums and galleries - Spreadsheet (csv) 8 KB

This file contains: Measure, Time, Ethnicity, Geography, Value, Upper bound, Lower bound, Sample size