Statistics on engagement in culture, arts, heritage and sport released

Date published: 28 September 2023

The Department for Communities (DfC) today released headline figures on engagement in culture, arts, heritage and sport in 2022/23.

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The report found almost nine out of ten adults (88%) had engaged in some way with culture, arts, heritage and sport.  The statistics highlight an increase in engagement in all areas compared to the previous year 2021/22, however, some Covid 19 restrictions were still in place in that year which would have impacted engagement.

83% of women and 77% of men engaged with culture and the arts at least once during the year with the cinema (52%), live music (34%) and theatre visits (18%) proving the most popular events.

Almost half of the adult population (48%) had participated in sport (excluding walking) and 65% had walked for recreation.

Almost three out of five adults (59%) visited a place of historic interest during 2022/23, a slight increase on the previous year. 

Figures for knowledge in Irish and Ulster-Scots remained steady with 17% of adults having knowledge of Irish and 17% having knowledge of Ulster-Scots.

The publication is available here.

    Notes to editors: 

    1. The report provide information on trends over time in engagement and participation across the various components of culture, arts and leisure including key findings relating to differences in participation rates among adults living in the most and least deprived areas of Northern Ireland. The bulletin includes key statistics engagement, attendance and participation in the arts; usage of the public library service; and visits to museums and science centres.  Analysis is presented by Section 75 groups and by the area in which people live (urban/rural and by deprivation).
    2. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on email.
    3. Follow us on twitter @CommunitiesNI
    4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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