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Covering topics including employment in culture, time spent on cultural activities, attendances at cultural venues and events, expenditure on culture, and imports and exports of cultural goods and services, this report provides a comprehensive statistical overview of culture in Australia.

This report also provides profiles of the cultural sectors, grouped according to the Australian Culture and Leisure Industry Classification.

The information is drawn from a variety of data sources, including Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data and non-ABS data, to provide a more complete picture of cultural industries. Care must be taken in comparing data from different sources presented in this publication due to differences in survey methodology, definitions and reference periods. For ABS sources, information on data quality is available (e.g. standard errors), but this is not always available for non-ABS sources.

Wherever possible, data are presented to align with the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, 2008 (Second Edition) (ACLC) (cat. no. 4902.0). 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.

This is the eighth statistical overview on culture and the arts. Data have been updated where available at the time of release. The table below provides an indication of updated data to be released from late October 2010 which will be used to update the next edition of this publication. Please note that a new approach is expected to be taken for updating the next edition of this publication. Chapters will be updated on a rolling basis as new data becomes available, with updated chapters being progressively released electronically to the ABS website. A PDF version of the publication incorporating the updated chapters will then be generated in October 2011.

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