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Welcome to the Taking Part update!

We have three updates for you today: 

1. Two new Taking Part statistical releases have been published today: the Adult 2015/16 Quarter 4 Report and the 2015/16 Annual Child Report. Find key findings and infographics below.

2. DCMS are developing some online analysis tools for the Taking Part survey. Designed to make data from the survey more accessible, these tools allow you to produce bespoke tables and explore the survey. Try them out now! These tools are prototypes, so please let us have your feedback via the Taking Part survey inbox,

3. Finally, we would like to invite you to the next Taking Part User Event, which will be held on the afternoon of Monday 5th September, at DCMS. The main theme of the event will be data accessibility (including a practical session based around the new Taking Part analysis tools, and a discussion about releasing an open data set). There will also be a session on progress with the development work we outlined in the Taking Part strategy (published in March). If you would like to attend the event, please sign up on this Eventbrite page.

To keep up to date with all DCMS statistics, follow us on Twitter using the Twitter handle @DCMSInsight.

The key findings from the Taking Part reports are outlined below. 

Visualisations from the latest Taking Part publications:

Headline Results:
Culture headline trends : Adults
Culture headline trends : Child
Child Sport 
Culture main headlines: Adults
  • Adult engagement with the arts (76.1%) and heritage (73.2%) remains high.
  • Engagement in all cultural sectors has remained stable since 2014/15, there has been no statistically significant changes in participation between 2014/15 and 2015/16. Engagement in libraries however appears to be continuing its downward trend. 
  • The proportion of children aged 5-15 years who engaged with the arts, museums or galleries and heritage in 2015/16 remained stable since 2008/09. 
  • The proportion of children aged 5-15 years who used a public library has continued to decrease: in 2015/16, 65.6 per cent of children aged 5-15 used a public library in the last 12 months, down from 2008/09 (75.3%) and 2014/15 (70.3%).

Child Sport
  • In 2015/16, 88.9 per cent of children aged 5-15 years had taken part in sport in the four weeks prior to the interview; 83.5 per cent of 5-10 year olds and 95.8 per cent of 11-15 year olds. Similar proportions to 2008/09 and 2014/15. 
  • Amongst 5-10 year olds, a significantly higher proportion of boys than girls had taken part in sporting activities (88.3% compared to 78.6%). There was no significant difference by gender for 11-15 year olds. 
  • In 2015/16, 80.7 per cent of children aged 5-15 years reported that they had participated in some form of competitive sport in the last 12 months; 76.9 per cent had taken part in competitive sport in school and 36.2 per cent had taken part in competitive part outside of school. 
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About Taking Part

The Taking Part Survey collects data on many aspects of leisure and culture in England, as well as an in-depth range of socio-demographic information on respondents.

For more information please visit the Taking Part section on the DCMS website.


Pass us on - colleagues can sign up to receive the Taking Part newsletter here.

Next releases

A series of “Taking Part, Focus on…” reports will be published in October 2016. Each ‘short story’ in this series will look at a specific topic in more detail, providing more in-depth analysis of the 2015/16 Taking Part data.

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Taking Part is produced in partnership with:

Arts Council England logo

English Heritage logo

Sport England logo



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If you have any queries or would like more information,
please email Taking Part