Vital Signs: Cultural Indicators for Australia

First edition – for consultation

This Australian report aims “to deliver a tool to enable governments, the [cultural] sector and the community to monitor the achievements of the sector, the role arts and culture play in economic and social agendas, and the vitality and cultural impact of Australian arts and cultural output”. Based on “extensive research on international developments in cultural measurement”, the study examines what indicators are available and relevant in an Australian context.

Sixteen high-level cultural indicators, grouped under three main themes, are outlined in the report.

There are seven key indicators related to economic development:

  • Cultural employment
  • Household expenditure on cultural goods and services
  • Visitor expenditure on cultural goods and services
  • Government support for culture
  • Private sector support for culture
  • Voluntary work in arts and culture
  • Economic contribution of cultural industries

Five indicators are included under the theme of cultural value:

  • Cultural assets
  • Talent (human capital)
  • Cultural identity
  • Innovation (new work/companies)
  • Global reach

Within the theme of engagement and social impact, there are four key indicators:

  • Cultural attendance
  • Cultural participation
  • Regional access
  • Education in arts and culture
Summary: 

This Australian report aims “to deliver a tool to enable governments, the [cultural] sector and the community to monitor the achievements of the sector, the role arts and culture play in economic and social agendas, and the vitality and cultural impact of Australian arts and cultural output”. Based on “extensive research on international developments in cultural measurement”, the study examines what indicators are available and relevant in an Australian context. Sixteen high-level cultural indicators, grouped under three main themes, are outlined in the report.