Why is this National Indicator important?
Cultural engagement impacts positively on our general wellbeing and helps to reinforce our resilience in difficult times. Cultural participation is known to bring benefits in learning and education; there is a significant association with good health and satisfaction with life. Our culture is key to our sense of identity as individuals, as communities and as a nation. Maintaining the quality and diversity of our cultural offerings in conjunction with enabling a strong level of engagement with culture helps to promote Scotland on an international stage as a modern dynamic nation. These factors also encourage visitors to come to Scotland, creating and maintaining jobs in cultural tourism; and support the conditions for Scotland's creative economy by encouraging creative industries to be leading edge in their field, particularly as part of maintaining and growing city economies.
What will influence this National Indicator?
Key influences are the availability and quality of cultural offerings for those attending, participating and learning from them; location and accessibility, both physical ease and by introducing people to unfamiliar experiences which they are then encouraged to repeat and develop; and the capacity of cultural organisations (particularly in a local authority context) to deliver.
What is the Government's role?
The Government sets the overall framework within which Scotland can produce world-class culture and creative output, and people are actively engaged in culture and creative activities. It promotes the value of taking part in cultural activities. It has a key policy and funding relationship with Creative Scotland which has a statutory function of encouraging as many people as possible to access and participate in the arts and culture. The Government works with local authorities to agree shared priorities on the value and benefits of cultural engagement. It also works with national organisations in the culture and heritage sector to set priorities and monitor progress on access to and participation in culture.
How is Scotland performing?
The percentage of adults who have either participated in a cultural activity or who have attended or visited a cultural event or place in the last 12 months has remained fairly stable since the data was first collected in 2007 but has shown an increase in 2011. Between 2010 and 2011, the percentage of adults who engaged in culture has increased by 2.1 percentage points, from 85.2% in 2010 to 87.3% in 2011.
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page
Source: Scottish Household Survey
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Cultural engagement is closely linked with a number of socio-economic indicators, such as age. In 2011 93% of 16 – 24 year olds either participated in a cultural activity or attended a cultural place or event in the last 12 months. This compares with around three quarters of those aged 75 and older.
In 2011, 94% of adults in the least deprived areas of Scotland either participated in a cultural activity or attended a cultural place or event in the last 12 months. This compares with 80% in the most deprived areas.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
Criteria for recent change
This evaluation is based on: any difference within 2 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Who are our partners?
Museums Galleries Scotland
Scottish Library and Information Council
National Collections and National Performing Companies:
National Theatre of Scotland
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
National Galleries Scotland
National Library of Scotland
National Museums Scotland
National Records of Scotland
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
Related Strategic Objectives
Wealthier and Fairer
Safer and Stronger