Participation and engagement in cultural activities

Participation and engagement in cultural activities

By Babatunde Buraimo
Helen Jones
Pete Millward


What are the key drivers for participation in with heritage sites? How frequently do people engage with the museums and galleries through participation?  How can libraries deepen relationships with participants?  This analysis of findings across these four important strands of the cultural landscape offers key findings, core data and modelling to help you plan your participation engagement strategies. This document is an analysis of the Taking Part Survey.


  • Participation is dominated by females
  • As educational attainment increases, so too does the propensity to visit and use libraries;·there are no significant differences between the propensity to visit with respect to socio-economic groups
  • Asian people have a greater propensity to participate compared with other ethnic groups
  • Going to the library when growing up had a positive impact on visiting libraries as an adult, increasing the probability of attendance as an adult by 36%

Museums and galleries

  • Involvement in cultural activities at a young age influences participation and its frequency
  • Black and Asian people are less likely than white people to visit museums and galleries
  • Readers of broadsheet newspapers are more likely to visit museums and galleries.

Heritage sites

  • Holding other factors constant, higher educational attainment results in a higher probability of participation
  • Income also has a positive influence on the likelihood of participation
  • Asian and Black people are 60% less likely than white people to visit heritage sites
  • Engagement in cultural activities when growing up has a positive effect on visiting heritage sites as an adult.

Archive or records offices

  • Age, economic status and visiting historical sites when growing up are the main predictors of visiting an archive or record office as an adult.
Resource type: Research | Published: 2013