Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today show going to the movies is still Australians’ most popular cultural activity. Over two thirds (67%) of Australians aged 15 years and over attended the cinema at least once in the last 12 months, an increase from 2005-06 when 65% of people attended the movies.

Attending the movies was a favourite activity amongst young people, with most 15-17 year olds (93%) going at least once in 2009-10, compared with 71% of 35-44 year olds and 32% of people aged 75 and over. Other interesting facts about cinema attendance include:

  • females were more likely to attend the cinema than males;
  • residents of the Australian Capital Territory had the highest cinema attendance rates nationally;
  • employed people attended a cinema at similar rates as unemployed people;
  • almost half the people who attended the movies went at least six times in the previous twelve months.

Apart from cinemas, other cultural venues attracting large attendances were zoos and aquariums (37% of the population 15 years and over), botanic gardens (35%) and libraries (34%). Of those who attended libraries, 26% attended 21 times or more in the previous year.

Other ABS figures show that Around 2.8 million Australians aged 15 years and over attended an Australian Rules football game during 2009-10. Horse racing (11%), rugby league (9%) and motor sports (8%) also attracted over 1 million attendees. Soccer was the only popular sport to report a significant increase from the last survey in 2005-06 (2% increase). Attendance rates at horse racing, motor sports, cricket, rugby union and harness racing reduced from 2005-06.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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