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Museum and gallery attendance in England 2012-2020, by age

This statistic presents the proportion of adults who visited a museum or gallery in the last year in England, between 2012/13 and 2019/20, by age group. Respondents in the youngest and oldest age groups tended to have a lower rate of attendance. According to the 2019/20 survey results, 45 percent of respondents aged 16 to 24 had visited a museum or gallery in the previous 12 months.

In England, national museums supported by the governments’ Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) offer free entry for all. Free museum admissions are a central part of the DCMS’s cultural policy, with the aim of increasing social inclusion and participation in the country’s cultural offerings. Since the initiative was reintroduced in 2001 under the then Labour government, visitor numbers have generally increased. However demographically speaking, attendance still tends to be higher among those in upper socio-economic groups and wealthier areas, where the impact of fees is considered to be less of a barrier.

Compared to young adults, children’s visits to museums and galleries are also notably higher. In 2019/20 the average share of 11 to 15 year olds visiting museums was over 11 percent higher than of 16 to 24 year olds.

Share of adults who visited a museum or gallery in the last year in England from 2012/13 to 2019/20*, by age

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Release date

September 2020


United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

2012/13 to 2019/20*

Number of respondents


Age group

16 years and older

Method of interview

Computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI)

Supplementary notes

* Years run April to March.
** Base of most recent survey; n (2017/18) = 7,715; n (2016/17) = 9,352; n (2015/16) =10,171; n (2014/15) = 9,817; n (2013/14) =10,355; n (2012/13) = 9,838; n (2011/12) = 9,188; n (2010/11) = 14,102; n (2009/10) = 6,097; n (2008/09) = 14,452; n (2007/08) = 25,720; n (2006/07) = 24,174; n (2005/06) = 28,117.
Figures exclude people who have visited a museum for the purposes of paid work or academic study.

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Statistics on "Art market in the United Kingdom (UK) "

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