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Taking Part: new research on arts audiences and participation

The Scottish Arts Council has published research from Taking Part, a bi-ennial survey into attendance and participation in the arts and cultural activity.

Taking Part is the longest-running, large scale attendance and participation survey in Scotland and looks at engagement with all types of arts activity – both subsidised and commercial. 

The report reveals that 90% of adults living in Scotland had either attended or participated in any arts or cultural activity during the previous 12 months. Participation levels have decreased significantly from 2006, but remain above the 2004 level. In addition, new questions and new analysis methods have thrown up some interesting key findings.

Taking Part in Scotland 2008 - Full Report (pdf) and Taking Part in Scotland 2008 - Summary Report (pdf) are available to download from this website. In addition, several interactive Powerpoint displays are available which help analyse the information in more detail. These are summarised below

Analysis by region, under represented group and artform

This interactive presentation allows you to concentrate on specific areas and includes regional summaries, under represented group summaries and artform profiles.

Taking Part in Scotland 2008 – Summary using graphs (Powerpoint file - 2.7 MB)

Analysis by sex, age, deprivation, ethnicity and rurality

This presentation breaks down the data by a range of categories including sex, age, deprivation, ethnicity and rurality and analyses the data across different variants.

Taking Part in Scotland 2008 – Results of Multivariate analysis (Powerpoint file - 875 KB)

Influences behind peoples’ attitudes to the arts

For the first time in Scotland at a national level, the research has also uncovered new information about the influences behind peoples’ attitudes to the arts.  Identifying new groupings of attitudes to the arts such as: experienced seekers, prudent purchasers, time poor and those who are ‘opting out’

Taking Part in Scotland 2008 – Results of Segmentation analysis (Powerpoint file - 1.01 MB)

Key Finding - Significance of higher education

Where previously factors such as socio-economic class, postcode or age were considered to have a greater impact on the general population’s involvement in the arts, either as audiences or participants, this analysis confirms that those who have a degree or other higher education qualification are 10% more likely to attend or participate in arts or culture events than the general population.

Taking Part Report

attendance and participation by region


participation by group


attendance by art form category


attednance by under-represented group


male/female comparison



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