Visitor Research National Museums – Demographic


The National Department for Culture Media & Sport recently released a report in June 2015 ‘Taking Part 2014/15 Quarter 4 – Statistical Release‘ which examines national museum and gallery attendance in the previous 12 months.

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Data was collected on visitor numbers including educational visits from the following national museums and galleries.

These museums were:

  • British Museum
  • Imperial War Museums
  • National Gallery
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • National Museums Liverpool
  • Science Museum Group
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Natural History Museum
  • Royal Armouries
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • Tate
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Wallace Collection

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  • In 2014/15, over half of adults (52%) had visited a museum or gallery in the last year. Though a similar proportion to 2013/14 and 2012/13, this was significantly higher than in any survey year between 2005/06 and 2011/12. This increase was seen across all English regions.
  • There have been significant changes in the proportion of adults attending a museum or gallery:
    • 1-2 times a year: 31 per cent of adults said they had visited museums or galleries, a significant increase from 26 per cent in 2005/06.
    • 3-4 times a year: 18 per cent had visited 3-4 times a year, a significant increase from13 per cent in 2005/06.

If visitors are returning to the same museum this would indicate they are going to see something new, a new exhibition, possibly a temporary exhibition.

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Other findings showed that from April 2014 to March 2015, over half of survey respondents had visited a museum or gallery, the graph below shows the age demographic of these visitors.
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Between 2011/12 and March 2015, of this who had visited a museum or gallery website there was a significant increase in the proportion of adults who had visited a museum or gallery website to out about or order tickets for an exhibition or event (from 58.1% to 63.5%).

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