Arts and culture in Australia: A statistical overview, 2004 (reissue)

Arts Cultural policy Cultural industries Audiences Arts citizen participation heritage Cultural heritage Australia

This publication brings together a range of data from both ABS and non-ABS sources about cultural activities and the cultural industries. It presents cultural data on both a topic basis (e.g. participation in cultural activities, employment in cultural industries) and a sector basis (e.g. libraries and archives, performing arts).

Content in this publication is based on the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, 2001 ( These classifications were developed by the ABS in order to promote a more unified body of statistical information about culture and leisure.

In this publication, the cultural sector is defined as those industries in the 'Heritage' and 'Arts' Divisions of the Industry Classification of the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC). This excludes the 'Sports and physical recreation' Division of the ACLC as well as recreational industries such as gambling and hospitality.

Most of the information presented in this publication was collected by the ABS, but data collected by other organisations have also been used so that a more complete picture of the cultural industries can be provided. Care must be taken in comparing data from different sources presented in this publication due to differences in survey methodology, definitions and reference periods.

While this publication provides substantial detail, intentionally, it is an overview of the cultural sector, and the information is not exhaustive. More comprehensive data are available from the ABS on many of the aspects of the cultural sector highlighted in this publication.

Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview was originally released in hard copy and as a pdf file in November 2004. It was subsequently re-issued in both an on-line format and PDF format on 6 September 2006. 

The intention of the re-issue was to leave the publication unchanged from the original release in 2004. However, in production of the new format some data errors were found in the original and these have been corrected. The affected tables are tables 1.6, 5.2, 6.3, 15.3, and 18.3. Some formatting changes have also been incorporated so the page numbering is different to the original release.

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