Data Snapshot

Research and data are fundamental for evidence-based policy development, informed decision-making, effective planning, and the efficient use of resources for service delivery. Research and data are also important for advocacy reasons, in terms of promoting and understanding the value and impact of the arts.

The following statistics give a brief overview of the ACT arts ecology. Note that data will be added and update when available.

Participation in and access to the arts
  • The ACT has the highest attendance rate at cultural venues and events (93.6%) than any other jurisdiction in Australia (Source: Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events 2013-14, Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • The ACT has the highest cultural participation rate (38.5%) than any other jurisdiction in Australia (Source: Participation in Selected Cultural Activities 2013-14, Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • There were 36 targeted inclusion programs in artsACT-funded organisations in 2015 (Source: artsACT SmartyGrants).
Great art and great artists
  • 14 artsACT-funded arts activities were presented nationally and three artsACT-funded arts activities were presented internationally in 2015 (Source: artsACT SmartyGrants).
  • Close to 729,000 domestic and 128,000 international cultural tourists visited the ACT in the year to September 2014. (Source: Events: Drivers of Regional Tourism, Tourism Research Australia, 2014).
  • Arts and culture is the biggest driver of visitation to the ACT (Source: Visitor Perceptions of the ACT, Tourism Research Australia and Visit Canberra contracted BDA Marketing Planning, 2014).
Vitality of the Canberra Region arts ecology
  • There were 6,937 persons employed in the arts and cultural sector as their main job in the ACT in 2011 (Source: Census, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).
  • As of June 2014, the ACT had nearly 1,200 active businesses in the creative industries  (Source: Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • Almost one third (76,500) of all people living in the ACT undertake some paid or unpaid work in culture and leisure activities (Source: Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities 2007, Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • In 2015, there were 504 volunteers at artsACT-funded organisations, who worked for 17,659 hours. (Source: artsACT SmartyGrants)
  • Canberrans spend approximately $211 million per year on arts and culture, which is a higher per capita level than other capital cities (Source: Household Expenditure Survey 2009-10, Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Engage with  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures
  • More than half (68.2%) of Indigenous people living in the ACT are involved in selected cultural events, ceremonies or organisations (Source: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15, Australian Bureau of Statistics,).
  • There were 64 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons employed in cultural occupations for their main job in the ACT in 2011 (Source: Census, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).
  • Three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were supported through the ACT Arts Fund in 2015 at a total of $6,000 (Source: artsACT SmartyGrants).
  • There were 17 targeted programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in artsACT-funded organisations in 2015 (Source: artsACT SmartyGrants).
Links to other sources of useful data

Cultural Data Online provides access to a broad range of research relating to arts and culture in Australia, including publications and external web links to data on employment, funding, participation and attendance at cultural venues and events, and cultural tourism.

Arts Nation is the home for the Australia Council’s research and knowledge management.

Fact Finders is Screen Australia's comprehensive statistics on the production and release of feature films, TV drama, documentary and other screen content in Australia.