Survey finds visitors of museums and galleries are not from diverse backgrounds

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2nd June 2016 17:35 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Recent market research from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has revealed that nearly 75 per cent of repeat visitors to museums and galleries in England are from the highest of the socio-economic groups.Survey finds visitors of museums and galleries are not from diverse backgrounds

The researchers questioned the visitors of museums and galleries annually between 2012 and 2015, as part of the Taking Part longitudinal survey.

The market researchers discovered that 30 per cent of respondents did not attend a museum or gallery during the three year period, whereas the other 70 per cent visited a museum or gallery at least once.

It was discovered that 31 per cent were repeat visitors. The repeat visitors were classified as people who claimed to have visited a museum or gallery at least once in each of the annual surveys.

The repeat visitors were found to account for the vast majority of all museum and gallery visits.

When looking at the repeat visitors, 71 per cent were in the socio-economic group and 31 per cent were living in areas classed as ‘Wealthy Achiever’.

According to the findings, repeat visitors were the most likely to be homeowners, with 75 per cent of this group owning a home, as opposed to being social or private renters. They were also discovered to be less likely than the other groups in the survey to have a long-term illness or disability.

The findings from the longitudinal survey reflect trends in the annual Taking Part survey, which saw visits from those in the lower socio-economic groups at 38.9% compared with 52% of all adults in 2014-15. But over a ten-year period visits from these groups are up from 28.3% in 2005-06.

The longitudinal survey also found that of people whose visits increased over the reporting period, having more free time was the most commonly cited reason (19%), while encouraging their child’s learning was also a common response (13%).

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