Taking Part Survey

This series brings together all documents relating to Taking Part


The Taking Part survey

The Taking Part survey is a continuous face to face household survey of adults aged 16 and over and children aged 5 to 15 years old in England. It has run since 2005 and is the main evidence source for DCMS and its sectors. The survey’s main objectives are to:

  • provide a central, reliable evidence source that can be used to analyse cultural and sporting engagement, providing a clear picture of why people do or do not engage.
  • meet the needs and interests of everyone who uses Taking Part data.
  • underpin further research on driving engagement and the value and benefits of engagement. The survey is commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and three partner organsiations (Arts Council England, Historic England and Sport England).

Information for survey participants

Participants in the survey are randomly selected from addresses from the Post Office’s list of addresses in England, this ensures results reflect the experiences and views of the whole population. You can find more information for survey participants on the Taking Part: survey participants page.

What the survey covers

The Taking Part survey collects data on engagement in:

  • arts
  • museums and galleries
  • archives
  • libraries
  • heritage
  • sport

It includes information on frequency of participation, reasons for participating, barriers to participation and attitudes to the sectors.

The survey also gathers information on demographics (e.g. age, education), and related areas including: social capital; activities while growing up; volunteering; charitable giving; and tv and internet use.

In March 2016 DCMS published a strategy outlining proposed developments to the Taking Part survey over the next five years, this includes details of changes to content and methodology.

How to access survey data

Survey data are available in three forms:

Statistical releases

Latest statistical releases for the Taking Part survey can be found on the Taking Part survey statistical releases page.

Statistical releases are National Statistics publications and include biannual releases on trends in key data, published in July and December each year, as well as a series of Focus on reports which look at specific topics in more detail. Dates of upcoming releases are published in the DCMS Official Statistics Release Calendar

Online data analysis tools

A suite of tools has been published to enable users to produce bespoke tables and explore the survey beyond the information available in the headline reports. These tools are in development, and are being published at this stage to allow users to feed into the development process. For more information visit the Taking Part Survey: Data Analysis Tools.

Record-level data

Record-level Taking Part datasets can be accessed via the UK Data Service, University of Essex. These include data from 2005/06 to present, covering adult, child and longitudinal data. Please note that datasets are available for not-for-profit educational and research purposes only.

Further research

Additional research and analysis has been carried out using the Taking Part data by a range of organisations. DCMS funded research is published on

User engagement

To continuously improve the survey DCMS undertakes a series of user engagement surveys and events. Further information can be found on the Taking Part: user engagement page.


To receive updates about Taking Part, including highlighting publications and user events, you can subscribe to the Taking Part newsletter.

Additional Information

All the questionnaires and technical reports from the adult and child Taking Part surveys are published on


We are always interested in hearing your views on the Taking Part survey. Please contact us by email at