Reports 2018/11

Use of culture out and at home

This publication is in Norwegian only.

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The purpose of this publication is to provide an overview of the development in cultural activity in Norway from the beginning of the 1990s to the present day, as shown in Statistics Norway’s culture and media use surveys. The publication is a follow up of parts of the SA 147: (Kulturvaner 1991-2015) (Vaage 2016). Emphasis is placed on showing the development of cultural activities outside the home, such as dramatic art and concerts, but there is also a degree of focus on the forms of cultural activity we take part in via the Internet.

Since 1991, the average age of users of cultural activities has increased, and in 2016 the highest average age of visitors to the opera was 50.0 years. The lowest average age was among cinema goers, at 37.3 years. Education has a strong correlation with cultural activity.

Crime/action, comedies and films for children/families are the most popular types of films we see at the cinema and at home on DVD. The films we watch are most often from the USA, but interest in watching Norwegian films is increasing. An increasing part of the population watches films, TV programmes and video clips on the Internet, especially young people. Websites like Youtube are very popular. When we listen to music at home, we mostly listen to pop and rock on records/CDs/audio files and on the radio.

Fewer children can play an instrument than before. The piano and guitar are the most commonly played instruments. Women are more often members of choirs and singing groups than men, while more men are members of groups playing rock or pop music. Forty-four per cent of those who have been to a theatre performance, musical or a revue performance during the course of a year saw the performance in a theatre building, 26 per cent at a cultural centre and 10 per cent at a school.

In contrast to newspaper reading, listening to traditional radio and reading printed books are still much more common than the online equivalents. While 25 per cent read paper books on an average day in 2016, the corresponding figure for e-books was 2 per cent. Digital versions of audio and video/film media is to an increasing extent taking the place of the traditional versions.

Those with a higher education and women are the most avid book readers. Foreign authors are the most popular, but literature by Norwegian authors is most commonly read by women. Jo Nesbø and Anne Karin Elstad are the most read Norwegian authors in the last 20 years. The number borrowing books from public libraries has fallen in recent years, and in 2016 was 30 per cent. Three per cent borrowed e-books in the same period, while 10 per cent borrowed a CD, film or audio book. Six per cent have difficulties visiting cultural arrangements due to long-term health problems. This particularly applies to persons aged 67-79 years.

The interest in media such as TV and weekly publications has declined. There has also been a decline in listening to the radio and reading newspapers. The interest in reading books has, however, remained the same. When visiting other countries, we mostly go to museums and exhibitions, and go to see concerts and stage performances like musicals and opera to a lesser extent.

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