Visits to museums and galleries
Last updated 14 May 2019 - see all updates
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1. Main facts and figures
- overall, the percentage of people aged 16 and over visiting a museum or gallery in the past year increased between 2005/06 and 2016/17 – this increase was seen both in the White ethnic group and in all other ethnic groups combined
- White people were more likely to visit a museum or gallery than people from all Other ethnic groups combined
- new data has been published for the year 2017/18 – this data isn’t currently reflected in the charts, tables and commentary on this page, but you can get a CSV file with the latest figures if you download the data
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 analysis over time since 2005/06, the data has been broken down into the following 2 broad categories:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other – all other ethnic minorities
For the analysis of the specific years 2005/06, 2010/11 and 2015/16, the data has been broken down into the following 4 broad ethnic groups:
- White (including White ethnic minorities)
- Other ethnic groups (including people with Mixed ethnicity)
2. By ethnicity over time
|All||White||Other than White|
|Year||All %||All Number of respondents||White %||White Number of respondents||Other than White %||Other than White Number of respondents|
Summary of Visits to museums and galleries By ethnicity over time Summary
3. By ethnicity over time (3 specific years)
|Year||All %||All Number of respondents||Asian %||Asian Number of respondents||Black %||Black Number of respondents||White %||White Number of respondents||Other %||Other Number of respondents|
Summary of Visits to museums and galleries By ethnicity over time (3 specific years) Summary
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 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.
You can see confidence intervals for each ethnic group if you download the data.
In 2016/17, 52% of people aged 16 years and over responding to the Taking Part Survey question had visited a museum or gallery in the past year. This is a reliable estimate of the percentage of people in England who visited a museum or gallery 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 51% and 54% of all people aged 16 years and over in England visited a museum or gallery. 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, 41%). This greater uncertainty is expressed by a wider confidence interval, of between 33% and 50% 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.
Percentages are given to the nearest whole number.
Further technical information
5. Data sources
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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
This file contains data for the years 2005/06 to 2017/18. This is the latest data available, but does not reflect the figures shown in the charts, tables and commentary on this page. The file contains: Measure, Time, Ethnicity, Geography, Value, Upper bound, Lower bound, Sample size
This file contains data for the years 2005/06 to 2016/17. This is the data used in the charts, tables and commentary shown on this page. This file contains: Measure, Time, Ethnicity, Geography, Value, Upper bound, Lower bound, Sample size