December 17, 2018

Are you up to the cultural average? Arts life of England official data

How do you answer this question:

Have you visited a museum or art gallery in the local area at least once in the preceding 12 months?

Using official government data from data.gov.uk The Flaneur has plotted a cultural map of the country. People were asked if they had visited a museum or gallery in the local area in the last 12 months. The answers ranged from 82% in Camden to 37% in Torbay, Barking & Dagenham. The full list of counties and boroughs is below so that you can browse the data for your own area.

But does this data really tell us anything? Is once in twelve months enough to merit a tick in the cultural life box? If you only watched TV once a year you would be regarded as someone who didn’t watch TV. You could go into a museum once a year just to buy something from the gift-shop for a Mummy-obsessed nephew.

Key:

Red = 77 to 88% Yellow = 66 to 77% Blue = 55 to 66% Purple = 44 to 55% Green = 33 to 44%

The only places with a 67% or higher positive answer are London boroughs. Does it just tell us that there are more museums and galleries in London that there are anywhere else? How do we know that the people who eschew their nearby museums aren’t great supporters of galleries in some other town?

To make anything from these statistics we are expected to assume that people only visit nearby museums and galleries. If that is the case then out of 162 regions there are 49 where half the people had not visited a museum or a gallery in the preceding 12 months. That is 30% of the population of England!

However, for all we actually know everyone in low ranking places like Torbay, though finding their local galleries resistible are spending their every weekend racing to London to visit the Estorick collection.

Statistics, eh? Someone should coin a phrase about their relationship to lies. It all comes down to the question asked, and no analysis of the resulting data can change that.

County or borough %
Camden 82
Kensington & Chelsea 78
Richmond upon Thames 78
Westminster 74
Wandsworth 73
Hammersmith & Fulham 72
Lambeth 67
Islington 67
Wirral 66
York UA 65
Haringey 65
Southwark 64
Barnet 64
Liverpool 63
Oxfordshire 63
Stockport 62
Tower Hamlets 62
Kingston upon Thames 62
Hackney 62
Buckinghamshire 62
Merton 62
Brighton & Hove UA 62
Surrey 62
Isles of Scilly 61
Sefton 60
Cambridgeshire 60
Hertfordshire 60
London 60
North Yorkshire 59
Lewisham 59
Bromley 59
City of London 59
Hampshire 58
Trafford 58
East Sussex 58
Greenwich 58
Bury 58
Bristol 57
Sutton 57
Wiltshire 57
Cheshire West and Chester 57
Rutland UA 57
South East 57
Windsor & Maidenhead UA 57
Sheffield 57
Newcastle upon Tyne 56
Wokingham UA 56
Manchester 56
Worcestershire 56
West Sussex 56
Cheshire East 56
Salford 56
Hounslow 56
Bath & North East Somerset 56
Northumberland 56
Gloucestershire 55
Warwickshire 55
Knowsley 55
Dorset 55
Kent 55
Reading UA 55
South Tyneside 55
Kingston upon Hull 54
Devon 54
Ealing 54
Portsmouth UA 54
Coventry 54
Suffolk 54
England 54
Redbridge 54
North West 54
East 54
Nottinghamshire 54
Leicestershire 54
Kirklees 53
Croydon 53
Central Bedfordshire 53
Cornwall 53
Solihull 53
East Riding of Yorkshire UA 53
Poole UA 53
Somerset 53
Bolton 53
South West 53
Harrow 53
Norfolk 53
West Berkshire UA 52
Redcar & Cleveland UA 52
North East 52
Gateshead 52
Enfield 52
Southampton UA 52
Hartlepool UA 52
Cumbria 52
North Somerset UA 51
Northamptonshire 51
Warrington UA 51
Sunderland 51
South Gloucestershire UA 51
Lancashire 51
Essex 51
St Helens 51
Middlesbrough UA 51
Shropshire 51
Yorkshire 51
Waltham Forest 51
Bradford 50
North Tyneside 50
Durham 50
Brent 50
East Midlands 50
Calderdale 50
Staffordshire 50
Darlington UA 50
Derbyshire 50
Bedford 50
Lincolnshire 49
Medway UA 49
Walsall 49
Southend UA 49
Bexley 49
West Midlands 49
Hillingdon 49
Bournemouth UA 49
Leeds 48
Herefordshire UA 48
Bracknell Forest UA 48
Stockton-on-Tees UA 48
Tameside 48
Luton UA 48
Stoke-on-Trent UA 47
Rochdale 47
Peterborough UA 47
Halton UA 47
North Lincolnshire UA 46
Nottingham UA 46
Telford & Wrekin UA 46
Oldham 45
Derby UA 45
Wolverhampton 44
Milton Keynes UA 44
Birmingham 44
Wakefield 44
Rotherham 44
Dudley 44
Swindon UA 43
Blackburn with Darwen UA 43
Isle of Wight UA 43
Plymouth UA 43
Havering 42
Wigan 42
Slough UA 41
Newham 41
Leicester UA 41
Doncaster 41
Barnsley 41
Sandwell 40
North East Lincolnshire UA 40
Thurrock UA 39
Blackpool UA 38
Torbay UA 37
Barking & Dagenham 37

Data from the latest government survey of 2009

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