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In the archive
Audience trends

Children’s participation in cultural and leisure activities outside of school hours, 2000, 2003 and 2006


2006

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), virtually all Australian children (97 per cent) aged 5 to 14 watched television or videos (DVD and VHS) during their free time in the two school weeks prior to interview in April 2006. Almost half those who had watched television or videos had done so for 20 hours or more. Playing electronic or computer games was also popular among children, with around two-thirds having played these games in the two-week period.

A similar number of children participated in organised sports during the 12 months to April 2006, while a third of all children were involved in ‘organised cultural activities’ (playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing and/or drama).

The results are largely unchanged from the previous survey conducted by the ABS in 2003, with the largest variation being for participation rates of children playing electronic games, falling from 71 per cent to 64 per cent in 2006.

Participation rate
(% of all Australian children)
Boys Girls Children
Watching TV or videos1 98% 97% 97%
Playing electronic or computer games1 77% 50% 64%
Organised sport2 69% 58% 64%
Organised cultural activities
(including playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama)2
22% 44% 33%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0).

Notes:
1. Outside of school hours during the last two school weeks prior to interview in April 2006.
2. Outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April 2006.

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2003

Participation rate
(% of all Australian children)
Boys Girls Children
Watching TV or videos1 99% 98% 98%
Playing electronic or computer games1 82% 59% 71%
Organised sport2 69% 54% 62%
Organised cultural activities
(including playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama)2
17% 43% 30%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0).

Notes:
1. During the two school weeks prior to interview in April 2003.
2. During the 12 months prior to interview in April 2003.

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2000

Participation rate
(% of all Australian children)
Boys Girls Children
Watching TV or videos1 97% 97% 97%
Playing electronic or computer games1 79% 58% 69%
Organised sport2 66% 52% 59%
Organised cultural activities
(including playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama)2
20% 40% 29%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0).

Notes:
1. During the two school weeks prior to interview in April 2000.
2. During the 12 months prior to interview in April 2000.

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