4. Socioeconomic attributes of culture consumers in Canada

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In order to get an idea of the importance of the relationship between participation levels and socioeconomic characteristics of adult Canadians, we choose to look at marginal effects (i.e., the change in predicted probability associated with the changes in the explanatory variables) rather than simply analysing raw parameter estimates.12 In tables 6 and 7, two series of marginal probabilities obtained from our stereotype ordered logistic models are thus reported for each culture activity: (i) changes in the probability to attend occasionally (column I); and (ii) changes in the probability to do so as a regular attendee (column II).13 We discuss our findings separately for each of our eleven culture activities in order to highlight the important background factors for each.

4.1 Theatrical performances

Compared to the average adult male, the average adult female is 5.5% more likely to attend occasionally and 2% more likely to do so as a frequent theatregoer, with other variables being held at their average. The idea that women are more likely to predominate in audiences at theatrical performances has also been supported by various studies (see, for instance, Ateca-Amestoy, 2005; Gray, 2003; Montgomery and Robinson, 2005).

Having parents with higher levels of educational attainment increases the likelihood of being a regular theatregoer, as does having a partner or spouse possessing an advanced qualification. Also, it appears that the effect of a partner's education is more important than that of parents in that the impact of a conjugal partner's education exceeds that of a father's educational attainment by 57% for occasional attendance and 63% for regular attendance. Similarly, it exceeds the influence of a mother's education for infrequent and frequent theatregoing by 31% and 33%, respectively. It is also worth noting that the importance of a mother's education surpasses that of a father's education by 44% for occasional attendance at theatrical performances and by 50% for regular attendance at theatrical performances.

In line with past research, it was expected that the higher the household level of income the more an adult individual would attend theatrical performances. This effect was found to be important at both levels of attendance: higher levels of household earnings lead to both a higher predicted likelihood of attending occasionally and regularly. Attendance also rises with professional occupation. For instance, compared to being unemployed or in occupations related to primary industry, processing or manufacturing, being in management, business, finance or administrative occupations increases the probability of being an occasional attendee by 8.8% and regular attendee by 3.7%. Interestingly, we note that employees in the latter occupational category are more likely to show the strongest taste for theatrical performances in Canada.

Age increases the predicted probability that people will attend theatrical performances relatively infrequently and on a more regular basis. Singles are more likely than separated or divorced people to attend theatrical performances. The opposite is true of being married or living in a common-law marriage, compared to being divorced or separated. At the same time, the higher the number of children aged 0 to 12, the lower the chances of being an occasional or a regular attendee at theatrical performances.

4.2 Popular music performances

Several personal characteristics, including family income, education and occupation, emerge as significant determinants of increased participation in popular music performances. Concerning specifically the effect of economic activity, our estimates show that being in a management, business, finance or administrative occupation has the highest incremental effect on the likelihood of participating occasionally and of being a regular participant, compared to being unemployed or having an occupation unique to primary industry, processing and manufacturing.

Attendance at popular music performances is also more likely to be common among people with more highly educated family backgrounds and among those having a conjugal partner with a tertiary qualification. But the probability of attending rises more with a rise in the conjugal partner's education than with a rise in parents' educational attainments; and rises more with increases in the mother's education than with increases in the father's education, regardless of how often people are likely to experience this culture activity. People who are married, widowed or living common-law are less likely, and those who are single are more likely, to attend occasionally and to do so frequently than individuals who are divorced or separated. Attendance at popular music performances decreases with age and the number of young children at home. City-dwellers are more likely than residents of small towns to participate in this activity. Regionally, Quebecers, British Columbians and individuals who live in the Prairies are more likely than Ontario residents to be frequent attendees

4.3 Historic sites

Men are more likely than women to visit historic sites, with the effect stronger for occasional visits. Our results also indicate that family income is an important factor in going to historic sites, with adult Canadians living in higher income households being most likely to participate in this culture activity, either occasionally or regularly. Further, people who are employed are more likely than others to regularly visit historic places. However, workers in occupations such as natural and applied sciences, health, social sciences and education are most likely to visit historic sites occasionally and to do so as regular visitors.

With advanced educational qualifications and parents with higher levels of educational attainment comes an increased likelihood of visiting historic sites occasionally and frequently, as does having a partner or spouse with a higher level of educational attainment. Being self-employed, rather than working fixed hours, also increased the likelihood of visiting historic sites. While the positive effect that a partner's education has on the likelihood of undertaking this culture activity is smaller than that of a mother's educational attainment, it surpasses the influence of a father's education, regardless of frequency of visit.

Visiting historic sites is less likely to be common among people who are married, widowed, single or living common-law, in comparison with individuals who are separated or divorced. Moreover, the fewer children aged 0 to 12 in the household, the greater the likelihood of occasional and regular visits to historic sites. Urban area residents are less likely than rural ones to contribute to higher attendance at this culture activity. Concerning regional location, residents of Atlantic Canada are more likely than Ontario residents to be occasional and regular goers to historic sites. Using Ontario as the comparison region, we also find that Quebecers, British Columbians and residents of the Prairies are more likely to experience this culture activity.

4.4 Conservation areas and nature parks

Adult males are more likely to be occasional and regular goers to conservation areas or nature parks than adult females. As hypothesized, participation is more likely to be popular among individuals with an advanced qualification, among those living in high income households, among those having families with higher levels of educational attainment, and among those whose partner or spouse has a higher level of educational attainment. All these effects are found in both levels of participation (i.e., occasional and regular). Also, our results indicate that the impact of a conjugal spouse's educational attainment surpasses that of a father's educational attainment by 44.4% for occasional visits and by 87.5% for regular visits. It also beats the importance of a mother's education by 33%, regardless of the visit frequency. In the meantime, the effect of the mother's education overrides that of the father's education by 17% for occasional visits and by 20% for regular visits.

Regardless of the professional occupation, being employed is positively associated with higher frequency visits. However, employees in occupations such as natural and applied sciences, health, social sciences and education are most likely to visit conservation areas or nature parks. All else remaining equal, the marginal probability of going to conservation areas and nature parks on an occasional basis and that of doing so regularly are all higher for self-employed people than for adult Canadians who work fixed hours. Individuals living with more children aged 0 to 12 are more likely to be occasional and regular goers to conservation areas or nature parks. In addition, our multivariate analysis shows that being married decreases the likelihood of going to conservation areas or nature parks occasionally and regularly, as does living common-law, being widowed and being single, compared to being separated and being divorced. Urban area residents are less likely than residents of rural areas to visit conservation areas and parks occasionally and frequently. Lastly, adults who reside in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Prairies are less likely than Ontario residents to participate occasionally in this culture activity and to do so as regular participants. The opposite holds for British Columbians, compared to individuals residing in Ontario.

4.5 Public galleries and art museums

There is a gendered dimension to the number of times adult Canadians are likely to visit public galleries and art museums: women are more likely than men to visit occasionally and to do so as regular visitors. However, the association between visiting and gender is not as strong as that cited for theatrical performances. Frequency of visits also increases with age, supporting the idea that individual tastes for "traditional" culture activities such as visiting public galleries and museums are developed through the learning-by-consuming process (McCain, 1995). We noted that people living in a household with children aged 0 to 12 are less inclined to go occasionally and to do so as frequent goers, indicating that the presence of young children at home may put a constraint on the amount of time people may be willing to spend in leisure activities outside the home, such as visiting public galleries or art museums.

In general, it was expected that individuals possessing higher levels of educational attainment and having higher household income would participate more. Our findings confirmed this since we found that museum visitors in Canada are more likely to belong to higher income categories and to have higher levels of education. Past research also finds a positive and significant influence of people's educational attainment on their consumption of museums (DiMaggio, 1991; Frey and Meier, 2003). People whose mother and father possess tertiary qualifications and who also have highly educated conjugal partners are most likely to visit museums occasionally and regularly. However, a partner's credentials have a more influential effect than parents' education. We also found that labour force participation and type of profession have positive and statistically significant effects on the number of times people visit museums or public galleries in Canada.

With respect to the type of profession, our estimates suggest that employees in occupations that include natural and applied sciences, health, education and social sciences are more likely to visit public galleries and art museums, in comparison with people who are unemployed or have an occupation unique to primary industry, processing and manufacturing. Regardless of the frequency of visits, people who have permanent jobs are less likely than those with temporary jobs to participate in this culture activity. In contrast, being self-employed raises the predicted probability of visiting public galleries or art museums, in comparison with having fixed working hours. Interestingly, this result challenges Frey and Meier's (2003) claim that because the opportunity cost of time for self-employed individuals is higher in comparison with people of fixed working hours, the latter are predisposed to visit museums more often, all else remaining equal. Our result may thus be interpreted somewhat differently: as participation in this culture activity is time-consuming, having more control over their work schedule may give self-employed people more opportunity to visit museums.

Concerning the effect that marital status has on frequency of visits, we note that married persons, widowed individuals and people living in common-law marriages are less inclined than separated or divorced people to participate occasionally or frequently. The opposite is true for singles. As expected, urban residents are more likely than rural ones to visit museums. Regionally, Ontario residents are less likely than Quebecers and British Columbians, and more likely than residents of Atlantic Canada and people who reside in the Prairies to visit public galleries or art museums occasionally and to do so as regular visitors.

4.6 Music listening

Our results reveal a more complex gender effect for music listening in Canada. Men are more likely than women to be occasional listeners. But, when women listen, they are more likely than men to be regular listeners. There are a number of other results which are worth highlighting. For instance, regular music listening increases when household income, educational qualifications or a conjugal partner's education rises. Conversely, it decreases with age or in the presence of dependent children at home. Additionally, we found that higher levels of parental education raises the predicted probability that an individual will listen to music regularly. However, we found that the effect of the father's qualification exceeds that of the mother's education by 83% for regular music listening.

Being married increases the likelihood of listening occasionally and decreases the probability of listening regularly, as does being widowed or living common-law, in comparison with being separated or divorced. Lastly, Quebecers, British Columbians, Atlantic Canadians and people who reside in the Prairies are less likely than Ontario residents to be infrequent music listeners. However, when they listen to music, they are more likely than Ontario residents to be frequent listeners.

4.7 Movies and drive-ins

The results of our multivariate analysis suggest that household income and educational attainment all significantly increase the likelihood that an individual will regularly go to movies or drive-ins. Also, we find that Canada's regular moviegoers are more likely to be young city dwellers in comparison with residents of small towns. These results are very close to those of Fernández-Blanco, Prieto-Rodríguez and Oreo Sanchez (2004) for Spain, and Montgomery and Robinson (2005) for the United States, indicating a similar education and income effect across countries. Our estimates would thus suggest that, with respect to education and household earnings, the consumption of movies or drive-ins among the Canadian adult population is not too different from what was noted abroad, all else held equal. Permanent workers are, on average, less likely than temporary workers and students to go to movies or drive-ins. At the same time, self-employed individuals are, on average, more likely than individuals working fixed hours to participate in this cultural activity. Concerning professional occupation, occasional and regular goers to movies or drive-ins are most likely to work in occupations such as management, business, finance and administration.

The higher the level of educational attainment of one's partner or spouse, the more likely he or she will go to movies or drive-ins and do so regularly. Likewise, having a family with a higher level of educational attainment significantly increases the predicted probability of belonging to movie audiences. However, the influence of a conjugal partner's educational attainment exceeds that of the father's education by 40% for occasional participation and by 33% for regular participation. It also dominates the importance of the mother's education by 40% for infrequent attendance and by 85% for frequent attendance. In the meantime, the effect of the father's education statistically equals that of the mother's education for the probability of going occasionally, but the former overrides the latter by 23% for the probability of being a regular moviegoer.

More children aged 0 to 12 at home decreases the predicted probability of attending a movie or drive-in occasionally as well as regularly. This result coincides with past research by Montgomery and Robinson (2005) using data from the United States, which showed a consistent and negative relationship between the number of dependent children at home and the chances of belonging to movie audiences. Differences concerning the consumption of movies or drive-ins are also observed across marital status: being married or living common-law reduces the predicted probability of being an occasional or frequent goer, while being single or widowed raises the probability of participation in these activities, in comparison with being separated or divorced. Lastly, using Ontario as the province of comparison, our results indicate that Quebecers, Atlantic Canadians, British Columbians and individuals living in the Prairies are more likely to belong to movie audiences.

4.8 Video viewing

In terms of gender, our estimates provide some evidence suggesting that men are more likely than women to be regular viewers of videos. Also, the higher the level of educational attainment, the more likely an adult Canadian will view videos occasionally and do so regularly. Likewise, our results suggest that one additional level of father, mother or conjugal partner schooling has a positive impact on the number of times people will view videos during a year. But the influence of a spouse or partner's credentials exceeds, on average, that of parents' education, regardless of the degree of consumption of this culture commodity. For instance, the effect of a spouse's qualification surpasses that of the father's education for occasional viewing (by 33%) and for regular viewing (by 17%).

Age has a negative marginal effect on the probability of viewing videos occasionally or regularly. City-dwellers, individuals belonging to higher income households and people living with more children aged 5 to 12 are most likely, while individuals living with more children aged 0 to 4 are less likely to be occasional and regular viewers of videos. Employees in artistic, culture, recreation, sports, sales and services occupations are most likely to be the highest consumers of videos. With respect to marital status, individuals who are separated or divorced are more likely than married people or singles and less likely than individuals who are widowed to view videos occasionally or regularly. Our results indicate that regular video viewing is more likely to be an urban phenomenon. Meanwhile, Quebecers are less likely than Ontario residents to watch videos on a regular basis. By contrast, Atlantic Canadians, British Columbians and people living in the Prairies are more likely than Ontario residents to engage in this activity occasionally and to do so regularly.

4.9 Reading books

Gender has a greater impact on reading books as a leisure activity, irrespective of intensity: compared to the average adult male, the average adult female is 12% more likely to read a book occasionally and 6% more likely to do so as a frequent reader, with other variables being held at their average. In addition, possessing a more advanced qualification or being in a higher income household increases reading intensity. The importance that household income has for book consumption has also been found in previous research (see, for instance, Hjorth-Andersen, 2000; Fishwick and Fitzsimons, 1998; Prieto-Rodríguez, Romero-Jordán and Sanz-sanz, 2004; Ringstad and Løland, 2006). Most relevant is the study by Ringstad and Løland (2006), who rely on statistical information collected during 14 years for more than 18,000 Norwegian households. They found that households with high incomes are about five times more likely to read books than households with low incomes.

Our results indicate that age is another characteristic that is positively associated with the reading of books for leisure. Further, living in an urban area or being self-employed increases the probability of reading occasionally and regularly. While employees in occupations that include natural and applied sciences, health, education and social sciences are most likely to be the highest consumers of books for leisure, it is interesting to notice that workers in artistic, culture, recreation, sport, sales and services occupations are all less likely than unemployed persons or people having occupations unique to primary industry or occupations unique to processing and manufacturing to read books for leisure, regardless of frequency.

In terms of parental education, one additional level of mother or father's schooling increases the predicted probability that an adult Canadian will read books occasionally or regularly, as does one additional level of a conjugal partner's education. However, the effect of a partner's educational qualification surpasses that of a mother's education by 16% for infrequent reading of books and by 17% for frequent reading of books. Likewise, the effect of a spouse's education dominates that of a father's qualification by 75%, irrespective of intensity. Concerning marital status, our results suggest that married individuals, widowed people and those living common-law are less likely, and singles are more likely than separated and divorced persons to be frequent readers. Regionally, British Columbians are more likely, and Quebecers are less likely than Ontario residents to be frequent readers.

4.10 Library use

In terms of marginal effects, the average adult female is 3.5% more likely than the average adult male to use libraries occasionally and 6% more likely to do so as a frequent user, with other variables being held at their average. As might be expected, the predicted likelihood of using libraries infrequently and of doing so frequently are positively related to level of educational attainment and family income. Also, frequent users are most likely to be young, to live in households with few children aged 0 to 4, with more children aged 5 to 12 and to belong to a higher income bracket.

Having parents with tertiary qualifications increases library use as does having a highly educated spouse or partner. While an individual's social capital appears to have a greater impact on how often he will use library facilities, it must be noted that the influence of a conjugal partner's education exceeds that of a father's education by 77% for occasional use and by 75% for regular use. However, the effect of a high level of father's education on the probability of being an occasional or regular library user is just as statistically likely as that of a high level of mother's education.

Work status is also important: our multivariate analysis indicates that permanent workers are less likely than temporary ones or students to be devoted consumers of library facilities. In addition, our estimates indicate that unemployed individuals, workers in occupations unique to primary industry, processing and manufacturing are most likely to use libraries, irrespective of intensity. Moreover, relationship status continues to be a significant factor with single Canadians more likely than divorced or separated individuals to visit libraries, while the opposite is true for those in married or common-law relationships; the latter are less likely than the divorced/ separated population to visit libraries.

4.11 Magazine reading

Our estimates suggest a significant difference between the sexes when it comes to magazine reading: women are more likely than men to be occasional or regular readers. People who have higher levels of educational attainment and those who live in high income households are more likely than others to consume magazines on a regular basis. Also, low levels of interest in magazine consumption are more likely to be observed among adult Canadians living with children aged 0 to 12.

In terms of parent and conjugal partner education, an additional level of father, mother or spouse's schooling has a positive influence on the odds of reading magazines, regardless of the frequency. Further, regular readers of magazines are most likely to be self-employed, to work in occupations such as management, business, finance and administration. Unlike Escardíbul and Villaroya (2007) who noted that in Spain, regular consumers of magazines were more likely to be older, we find that age has a neutral effect on the odds of reading magazines. Lastly, when it comes to the effect of geographic location, we find that Quebecers and Atlantic residents are less likely and British Columbians and Prairies residents are more likely to be regular readers of magazines, in comparison with Ontario residents.