More people go to the cinema and theatre, fewer to libraries


There has been a certain change in the amount of people using cultural offerings between 2012 and 2016.

Visits to cinemas have increased most and cinemas are the offering used by most people. The percentage of the population going to theatres and museums has also increased. Public libraries and art exhibitions have seen a falling attendance. Women and persons with a high level of education and income are the most avid users of culture.

The Cultural barometer for 2016 shows that 72 per cent of the population in the age group 9-79 years have been to a cinema during the last 12 months.

In 2012, the same percentage was 67. There has been an equivalent increase in people going to see performances at theatres, and attending musicals or revues from 45 per cent in 2012 to 50 per cent in 2016.

The percentage visiting museums has increased from 41 to 44 in the same period. The percentage visiting public libraries has on the other hand decreased from 49 to 46.

There has also been a slight decrease in visits to art exhibitions, from 38 per cent in 2012 to 36 per cent in 2016. For the other cultural offerings, the changes have been small.

Most people visit cinemas
Cinemas are still the offering that most people use. Concerts and sports events follow next, with a yearly attendance of 62 and 55 per cent respectively.

Then follows the use of public libraries and museums. Thirty-two per cent had been at a cultural festival, 14 per cent had been at a ballet or dance performance and 8 per cent at an opera or operetta performance.

One in two have never been to an opera or operetta
In the 2016 survey, 55 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. This number has decreased from 63 per cent in 1994.

Only 1 per cent answered that they had never been to a cinema. Four per cent had never been to a public library, the same as for museums. Five per cent had never been to a concert, while 6 per cent had never been to a theatre performance.

Women are the most active users
More women than men are users of the traditional cultural offerings. The figure for women is higher for theatre, ballet or dance performances, art exhibitions, public libraries and religious/philosophical community meetings.

Men are more active visitors to sports events. Cinemas and cultural festivals, museums, concerts and opera/operettas are attended to the same degree by men and women.

Increasing use of culture among older people
Children and teenagers make more use of cultural offerings than other age groups. Children aged 9-15 have more often been to sport events, ballet or dance performances, museums, public libraries, religious/philosophical community meetings and theatre performances/musicals/revues per year.

The age group 16-24 years has the most eager visitors to cinemas and cultural festivals during the year. People aged 67-79 are the most likely to attend art exhibitions and opera/operetta performances.

The increase in cultural use has been largest among persons in this age group. Ten per cent had been to a cinema in 1991. By 2016, 27 years later, the percentage had quadrupled, and represented 40 per cent. Equivalent numbers for theatre performances/musicals/revues are 23 and 44 per cent. For concerts, the numbers have changed from 31 to 51 per cent in the same period.

Social disparities in use of culture
People’s income and education have a large impact on the use of most cultural offerings. Those who have a high level of education are greater users of cultural offerings than others.

This especially applies to cinemas, theatres, operas/operettas and ballets/dance performances, art exhibitions and museums. High income and frequent use of cultural offerings is also connected, except for public libraries, sports events and religious/philosophical community meetings.

Most interest for sports events and concerts
Twenty-two per cent of the population say that they are very interested in attending concerts. Next in line are sports events, cultural festivals, cinemas and libraries.

Only 3 per cent are on the other hand very interested in attending ballet performances, and 2 per cent are very interested in attending opera performances. As much as 67 per cent say that they are not interested in attending opera performances.

Most own activity in sports and music
Sport is the cultural field where people are most active. In 2016, 31 per cent answered that they are members of an athletic club, and 32 per cent have been active participants at sports events in the last two years.

In addition to sports, activities within music are also popular.

Thirty-two per cent can play an instrument and 9 per cent play regularly. Seven per cent are members of a choir or an orchestra. Twelve per cent of the population have performed publicly with song or music in the last two years.

Eight per cent are active in arts/handicrafts and 3 per cent are active in organised dance in their leisure time.


Source: SSB / Norway Today