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Fewer Go to Theatre and Art Exhibitions

More cultural offerings experienced a decrease than increase between 2008 and 2012, with the greatest decrease in theatre attendance and at art exhibitions. Cinema is the offering used by most people. Women and persons with a high education and income are the most avid users of cultural offerings. Book club membership has fallen by almost half within four years.

The Cultural barometer for 2012 shows that 45 per cent of the population in the age group 9-79 years have been to a theatre performance, musical or revue during the last 12 months. In 2008, the corresponding figure was 53. There has been an equivalent decrease in visits to art exhibitions, from 42 per cent in 2008 to 38 per cent in 2012. The percentage visiting religious or philosophical community meetings decreased from 39 to 34 per cent in the same period. These are the biggest changes in culture use over the last four years.

Most people visit cinemas

Cinemas are still the offering that most people use. Sixty-seven per cent of the population had visited a cinema in the last 12 months in 2012, compared to 70 per cent in 2008. Concerts and sport events follow are next, with a yearly attendance of 61 and 55 per cent respectively. The use of public libraries had no significant change between 2008 and 2012, with 51 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. While 41 per cent had been at a museum in 2012, 31 per cent had been at a cultural festival. Fourteen per cent had been at a ballet or dance performance and 8 per cent at an opera or operetta performance.

Two out of three have never been to an opera or operetta

In the 2012 survey, 62 per cent answered that they had never been to an opera or operetta performance. Fifty per cent had never been to a ballet or dance performance. None of the respondents reported that they had never been to a cinema. Three per cent had never been to a public library, 4 per cent had never been to a museum and 5 per cent had never been to a concert or to a theatre performance.

Women are the most active users

More women than men are users of the traditional cultural offerings. Women are more avid users of theatre, ballet, art exhibitions, public libraries and religious/philosophical community meetings. Men are more active users of sport events. Women and men go to cinemas and cultural festivals, museums, concerts and opera/operettas to the same extent.

Increasing use of culture among older people

Children and teenagers use more cultural offerings than other age groups. Children aged 9-15 years have to a greater extent been to sport events, ballet/dance performances, museums, public libraries, religious/philosophical community meetings and theatre/musical/revue per year. Persons aged 16-24 years are the most eager visitors to cinemas, concerts and cultural festivals during the year. People aged 67-79 years are the most eager users of art exhibitions and opera/operetta performances. The increase of cultural use has been largest among persons in this age group. While 10 per cent had been to a cinema in 1991, the corresponding figure in 2012 was 32. The corresponding figures for theatre/musical/revue are 23 and 39 per cent. For concerts, attendance went up from 31 to 48 per cent in the same period.

Social divide in use of culture

A person’s income and education has a large bearing on their use of most cultural offerings. Those with a high education are greater users of cultural offerings than others. This especially applies to cinemas, theatre, opera/operetta and ballet/dance, art exhibitions and museums. There is also a correlation between high income and frequent use of cultural offerings.

Greatest interest in sport events and concerts

Twenty-one per cent of the population say that they are very interested in attending concerts. Next in line are sport events, cinemas and cultural festivals. On the other hand, only 2 per cent are very interested in attending ballet performances and 3 per cent are very interested in attending opera performances. As much as 70 per cent say that they are not interested in attending ballet performances.

Most personal activity in sports and music

Sport is the cultural field where people are most active. In 2012, 30 per cent answered that they are members of an athletic club, and 29 per cent have been active participants at a sport event in the last two years. In addition to sports, music-related activities are also popular. Thirty-seven per cent can play an instrument and 11 per cent play regularly. Seven per cent are members of a choir or an orchestra. In relation to singing and music, 14 per cent of the population have given a public performance in the last two years. Eleven per cent are active in arts/handicrafts and 4 per cent are active in organised dance in their leisure time. The largest decrease within cultural activities is represented by book club membership. While 17 per cent were members in 2008, only 10 per cent were members in 2012.

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