About the Taking Part survey

Taking Part is a major, continuous survey of cultural and sport participation in England, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in partnership with Arts Council England, Sport England and English Heritage.

Every year it collects information from a nationally representative sample of children and adults about their attendance at a wide variety of arts events, museums, galleries, libraries and heritage sites, and about their participation in creative activities and sport. The survey also asks about motivations and barriers to engagement and collects a large quantity of socio-demographic information. The data is collected by TNS-BMRB through face-to-face interviews and the survey has been conducted since July 2005.

Data from the Taking Part survey is released quarterly with annual reports published each year. More information is available on the DCMS website.

The latest annual data release can be downloaded here:

Publications from the Taking Part survey

A range of reports have been produced or commissioned by the Taking Part survey partners. All of them are published on the DCMS website. Topics covered in these reports include:

  • understanding volunteering in the cultural sector
  • the effects of an ageing population on participation in culture
  • changes in live music between 2005 and 2009

The Arts Council research team also conducts analysis of data from the Taking Part survey. We have produced a series of regional profiles, artform briefings and occasional reports.

Regional profiles

Read our profiles to find out about cultural engagement in your region and across England, based on data gathered from the Taking Part survey, 2005-12:

Artform briefings

Headline findings from the first 12 months of Taking Part separated by artform.

Taking Part Arts Council briefings 

An annual treat or a weekly fix?
Taking Part findings on frequency of engagement with different arts events and activities

The art of volunteering
Taking Part findings on volunteering

Exploring audience overlap
Taking Part findings on how the audiences of different arts events and activities are related

Headline findings from the Taking Part survey 2008/09
Download headline arts findings from the Taking Part survey 2008/09 including analysis of arts engagement patterns, respondents' rating of their experience and attitudes to the arts:

Arts engagement in England from 2005/06 to 2007/08
Looks at the changes in arts engagement patterns over the period 2005/06 - 2007/08 as measured by the Taking Part survey

Encourage children today to build audiences for tomorrow
March 2009. A briefing that explores the relationship between childhood arts experience and arts engagement patterns in adulthood, using data from the 2005/06 Taking Part survey.

From indifference to enthusiasm: patterns of arts attendance in England
April 2008. In-depth analysis of the levels of arts attendance and the socio-demographic inequalities associated with the take-up of arts opportunities.