NEWS | 25 Oct 2018

A Nordic survey of cultural habits among children and youth?

Would it be possible to conduct a joint Nordic survey on the cultural habits and activities of children and young people? This issue is examined in a new report from Kulturanalys Norden, the Nordic Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis.

In recent years, national surveys have been conducted in the Nordic countries (with the exception of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland), collecting data on cultural habits in the respective population, including the segment children and young people.

This report – of which a translated title would be A Joint Nordic Survey of the Cultural Habits of Children and Youth – starts by analysing whether the national surveys are comparable on a Nordic level, and finds that, due to differences in scope, methods, age groups, etc., it is not possible to compare data from the surveys of the different countries.

As for conducting a joint Nordic cultural habits survey, the report’s general assessment is that it would be difficult to bring about political prioritisation of such an initiative in all Nordic countries. One of the reasons for this is that, since the countries already invest resources into measuring cultural habits nationally, it is less attractive to do the same at the Nordic level, and the added knowledge could be perceived as too small in relation to the effort. Neither is it an alternative to switch to surveys on only a Nordic level, as this would mean breaking the national time series.

In order to increase knowledge about the cultural habits of children and youth in the Nordic region, Kulturanalys Norden therefore recommends the organisation of a Nordic research seminar focusing on the culture habits of children and young people. The seminar should focus on common Nordic cultural-political issues, and the development of further initiatives and analyses.

The report is in Swedish, with a summary in English.

Find the report here
Read about Kulturanalys Norden, the Nordic Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis



In Denmark, studies on the population’s culture habits (in Danish) are carried out with the Ministry of Culture as initiator and financier. The latest report is Danskernes kulturvaner 2012 [The Danes’ Cultural Habits 2012], but results from a new study are expected by mid-2019 (in Danish).

In Finland, data are obtained from Statistics Finland’s time use survey and, as the main source, a leisure survey. The latest leisure survey is from 2002, but new data collection was conducted in autumn 2017 and early 2018.

On Iceland there are no recurring studies of cultural habits, except for regular surveys of media habits (TV, radio, newspapers). The latest broad study, which only covers the population aged 18 and over, was conducted by the University of Iceland in 2009 at the initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

In Norway, Statistics Norway conducts the annual Media Barometer survey, which is extended every four years to a Media and Cultural Barometer (the latest data collection is from 2016).

In Sweden, data are obtained from Statistics Sweden’s Living Conditions Surveys, the SOM Institute’s annual surveys, and the Swedish Agency for Cultural Analysis’ report series.

Source: En gemensam nordisk undersökning av barns och ungas kulturvanor? [A Joint Nordic survey of the Cultural Habits of Children and Youth?], Kulturanalys Norden, 2018.