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New diversity trends report: UK Museums are still failing to close the participation gap

taking part diversity trend report uk museums

A recent report published by the UK’s Department for Culture Media and Sport shows that museums are still failing to attract a diverse audience.

The new Taking Part survey on diversity trends explores how cultural engagement between different demographic groups (ethnicity, socio-economic and disability) has changed between 2005-06 and 2015-16.

The key finding is that the gap between the highest and the lowest socio-economic groups visiting museums in England has not changed in a decade.

taking part diversity trend report uk museums

The report does, however, recognise that museums have made huge steps to improve engagement across all groups. Visitor numbers are on the up across the board. However, museum visitors are still predominantly from the white ethnic groups, the higher socio-economic group and are adults with no long-standing illness or disability.

Key findings:

  • Visits from adults defined as upper socio-economic increased from 51.9% in 2005-06 to 61.5% in 2015-16.
  • Visits from adults defined as lower socio-economic increased from 28.3% in 2005-06 to 37.4% in 2015-16.
  • In 2005-6, 43% of white adults and 35.4% of adults from a black and minority ethnic group surveyed had visited a museum or gallery.
  • In 2015-16, these figures rose to 53% of white adults and 48.2% of adults from a black and minority ethnic group.

Read the full report, here

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Rachel Reed

Rachel Read

Rachel is Finance Director. She has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloittes in London. She worked in finance in industry for twenty years. She oversees our news and also manages our events.

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