NEWS | 13 Nov 2017

Cultural habits among Swedish children and youth

The Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis has examined the cultural habits of children and young people. The most common media-related activity is watching online videos, which a majority of children and young people do every day.

The report on cultural activities among children and adolescents focuses on young people's cultural habits in their leisure time, both at home and away from home.

Media-related issues in the report include reading books and papers, and various cultural activities via media such as films, TV programmes, online videos, mobile games, etc. The study was conducted among fifth and eighth graders, as well as students in their second year of upper secondary school.

TV and online video are popular
Of the activities involving visits to cultural institutions, going to the cinema is the most common among children and youth. Otherwise, watching movies or TV programmes and series is very prevalent. The most common media-based cultural activity is watching online videos, which most children and adolescents do on a daily basis.

Children read fiction, adolescents read newspapers
As for reading habits, the report shows that the fifth graders primarily read books, followed by other publications/magazines (not newspapers) and listening to audio books.

For the eighth graders, it is roughly equally common to read fiction, newspapers, and other publications/magazines. Among those in upper secondary school, it is most common to read newspapers, followed by fiction and other publications/magazines.

Significant gender differences for digital games
Based on all children and young people's right to culture, the Agency has also studied whether there are differences between different groups regarding gender, parents’ education and foreign background, also analysing the reasons for and impediments to children and young people's participation in culture.

As for gender differences, the results show that girls read more fiction and blogs than boys do, while there are no differences with regard to reading non-fiction and newspapers. Equal numbers of girls and boys play mobile games and RPGs/board games, although boys play mobile games more often than girls.

There are considerable gender differences in the upper grades with respect to playing computer and video games, with boys playing more than girls. Similarly, boys watch gaming (video or computer games) to a much larger degree than girls do.

Download the report, in Swedish, summary in English (PDF)
Read more in Swedish


More about the survey: This quantitative survey was conducted by the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis in cooperation with Statistics Sweden and in collaboration with six Swedish regions. The study aims to contribute knowledge about the cultural participation of children and adolescents, and to serve as a basis for national policy. The study will be followed up with analyses of individual cultural activities or other recreational activities that are related to each other, examining whether there are overall patterns and relationships with different background factors. Read more about the Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis here.



More reading about children's cultural habits: Danish children read less in their spare time, and especially girls have changed their reading habits. The report Børns læsning 2017 (Children's Reading 2017) presents the results from a quantitative study of children's spare-time reading and media habits. Read more.