Statistical analyses 147
Cultural habits 1991-2015
The purpose of this publication is to give an overview of the development in the use of culture in Norway from the beginning of the 1990s to the present day, as has been documented by Statistic Norway’s culture and mass media use surveys. The emphasis is on showing the development in the use of the culture that we find outside our homes, such as theatre and concerts, as well as describing the use of cultural forms we experience through the Internet and computer gaming. These descriptions have mostly been taken from recent mass media use surveys.
Libraries, cinemas and book shops are more accessible than theatres and museums. However, libraries and cinemas have become less accessible in recent years. Cinemas, theatres and concerts are the cultural offerings that people would visit more often if they were located nearer to their home. Ticket prices are generally of little importance when considering whether to use a cultural offering or not, however young people are more likely to take this into consideration. Six per cent find it difficult to attend cultural arrangements due to long-standing health problems. This particularly applies to the 67-79 age group. Interest in visiting libraries, theatres and art exhibitions is in decline.
The percentage of the population going to cinemas, concerts, ballet/dance performances and operas has been increasing since 1991. Visits to public libraries and art exhibitions, however, have fallen. Throughout the period, most cultural offerings were attended by more women than men, regardless of education. Culture users have grown older; opera audiences have the highest average age and a growing proportion of older adults are going to the cinema. Education has a close correlation to the use of cultural offerings, but the greatest increase is among those with the lowest levels of education. Oslo and Akershus have the largest proportions of cultural users. There continues to be large disparities in culture usage between blue and white collar workers. Visiting the opera, theatre and ballet/dance performances is interrelated, in the same was as cultural festivals and concerts. Those who attend the opera are also prolific users of other cultural facilities. Men and children are least likely to use cultural offerings. About 15 per cent of the population use cultural offerings very rarely. People mostly visit professional cultural offerings. This is least common among children, but this figure is increasing.
Children, young people and women are in the majority among library visitors. The films we watch are mostly from the USA, but Norwegian films are becoming more popular. The number of women and children going to the theatre is increasing. Those who listen to music at home are also most likely to go to concerts. Visits to art exhibitions are increasing among the elderly, and the education disparity continues to be just as prevalent. Paintings are the most popular objects at art exhibitions, but the interest in photographic and video art has grown. Men are the main contributors to the decline in library visits, and overall, fewer people are borrowing books. Those who live in densely populated areas are the most eager to attend religious and philosophical meetings. Immigrants from Africa, Asia and Latin America generally use cultural offerings less, but tend to visit libraries more often than immigrants from the EU, North America and the rest of the population.
Fewer children can play a musical instrument than previously. The piano, guitar and recorder are the most popular instruments. Reading books during leisure time remains at a high level. We find most readers among people with a high level of education and among women. We generally prefer foreign authors, but women read the most Norwegian literature. Jo Nesbø and Anne Karin Elstad have been the most read Norwegian authors in the last 20 years. Swedish authors are also popular. Young people are very eager watchers of films, TV and video clips on the Internet, with websites such as Youtube being particularly popular. In contrast to newspaper reading, listening to traditional radio and reading printed books are still more popular than the online versions. Blogging is primarily a young people’s phenomenon, and ten times as many girls as boys read blogs. There has been a considerable increase in the use of Facebook and other social media in recent years. Eight out of ten boys aged 9-15 years play electronic games on a typical day, and the corresponding figure for the population as a whole is 36 per cent.