Age and Culture
The Scottish Household Survey is the primary source for measuring both the attendance at, and participation rates for, cultural events and activities in Scotland.
The data is used to inform the Scotland Performs National Indicator to 'increase cultural engagement'; engagement is measured as the percentage of adults who have either attended or visited a cultural event or place or participated in an activity like reading or playing a musical instrument. In 2015, around 9 in 10 adults were culturally engaged in Scotland (92%).
Levels of cultural attendance were generally higher among the younger age groups, although there were differences in the cultural activities attended by younger and older age groups. For those aged 16-44, visits to the cinema and live music were generally higher than for other age groups. Those aged 45+ attended more classical music concerts than younger age groups. Cinema was the most popular cultural event to attend for all age groups under the age of 60. Overall, the 2015 results show that around 8 out of 10 people of all age groups attended a cultural event or visited a place of culture.
SHS figures show that cultural attendance at specific events or places varies by age for particular events or places. For example, around 82% of adults aged 16-24 said they had been to the cinema in the past year compared to only 16% of those aged 75 and over. However, visits to classical music events (including the opera) was highest in adults aged 60-74.
Across all age groups, reading for pleasure was the most popular cultural activity. The proportion of those reading for pleasure increased with age. When reading is excluded, the overall participation rate fell as age group increases. For example, the 2015 results show that around 61% of adults aged 16-24 participated in a cultural activity, excluding reading. This compares to 36% of adults aged 75 and over.
Source: Scottish Household Survey Annual Report, 2015