Visits to museums and galleries

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2018 to 2019, 50.2% of people aged 16 and over had visited a museum or gallery at least once in the past year
  • 51.1% of White people had visited a museum or gallery, compared with 33.5% of Black people and 43.7% of Asian people
Things you need to know

The data for this analysis comes from the Taking Part Survey. This survey uses a random sample of people to make generalisations about the whole population.

The commentary for this data includes only reliable findings. Findings are reliable ('statistically significant’) when they reflect the total population. This means we would get similar findings 19 times out of 20 if we carried out the same survey on different people.

All survey estimates are subject to some uncertainty as they are based on a sample of the population.

Ethnic minority groups tend to have a smaller number of survey respondents. As a result, their estimates are less reliable than those for White people.

The question about museums and galleries was in a different place in the Taking Part survey for most of 2017 to 2018. It also had different wording. This was part of a wider review of the questionnaire. From quarter 4 of 2017to 2018, the question went back to its original wording and position.

For consistency, 2017 to 2018 data comes from quarter 4 only. In all other years, data comes from all 4 quarters.

What the data measures

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

The data includes people living in England, and is broken down by ethnicity.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Survey respondents were asked to choose their ethnic group from a choice of 18 categories.

The number of people surveyed was too small to draw any firm conclusions about these ethnic categories. So the data is grouped into the following 5 broad ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of people aged 16 and over who visited a museum or gallery in the past year, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Number of respondents
All 50.2 8,161
Asian 43.7 487
Black 33.5 226
Mixed 60.3 121
White 51.1 7,239
Other 51.4 46

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

Summary of Visits to museums and galleries By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2018 to 2019, 50.2% of people aged 16 years and over had visited a museum or gallery in the past year
  • 51.1% of White people had visited a museum or gallery, compared with 33.5% of Black people and 43.7% of Asian people
  • although it appears that people with Mixed ethnicity were the most likely to have visited a museum or gallery, this estimate is less reliable because of the small number of respondents

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of people aged 16 and over who visited a museum or gallery 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 52.8 9,838 45.7 394 39.9 188 48.4 171 53.7 9,054 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 22
2013/14 53.1 10,355 47.3 404 49.0 203 49.7 142 53.6 9,546 67.7 49
2014/15 52.0 9,817 39.9 367 40.7 239 57.8 99 53.2 9,050 51.6 52
2015/16 52.5 10,171 49.9 434 41.3 242 53.3 119 53.1 9,312 52.3 55
2016/17 52.3 9,352 47.3 423 31.9 242 52.3 170 53.6 8,473 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 27
2017/18 49.7 2,088 37.9 118 28.6 55 48.4 38 51.4 1,849 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 21
2018/19 50.2 8,161 43.7 487 33.5 226 60.3 121 51.1 7,239 51.4 46

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

Summary of Visits to museums and galleries By ethnicity over time Summary

This data shows that:

  • in each ethnic group, the percentage of people who had visited a museum or gallery remained broadly consistent

4. Methodology

The Taking Part Survey measures cultural activity among:

  • 5 to 10 year olds
  • 11 to 15 year olds
  • people aged 16 and over

Survey respondents must live in private households in England. The cultural activity they took part in could have taken place anywhere.

Respondents are chosen randomly from the Postcode Address File.

An interviewer visits respondents' addresses. They record details of everyone living at each address they successfully contact. Where possible, they select one adult, one 5 to 10 year old, and one 11 to 15 year old to take part in the survey.

The figures shown here only apply to people aged 16 and over.

Weighting:

Weighting adjusts the results of a survey to make them more reliable and more representative of the general population.

For example, if 25% of a survey's respondents are women, it won't reflect the views of the general population.

The data in the Taking Part sample 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:

Download the data to see confidence intervals for each ethnic group.

In 2018 to 2019, 50.2% of survey respondents aged 16 years and over 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 is 95% certain that between 48.6% and 51.8% of all people aged 16 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, the estimate would fall between 48.6% and 51.8% on 95 occasions. 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 2018 to 2019, the Other ethnic group had 46 respondents (out of 8,161 respondents in total). Because of this, we can be less certain about the estimate for the Other ethnic group (51.4%). This greater uncertainty is expressed by a wider confidence interval, of between 32.8% and 69.6%.

Changes over time and differences between groups are only reported if they are statistically significant at the 95% level. This means that we can be confident that the differences seen in our sampled respondents are reflective of the population.

Rounding

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Taking Part technical reports.

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 visiting museums and galleries - Spreadsheet (csv) 9 KB

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