The Statistics Working Group manages a national program of cultural data collection, research and analysis, funded through the Meeting of Cultural Ministers Officials Working Group. It aims to improve policy and decision-making in cultural industries and government by enhancing the quality, range and availability of relevant cultural statistics.

The Statistics Working Group promotes the collection of high quality data in the cultural industry, supporting the development of national standards for data collection. It commissions a range of statistical research work and produces publications.

The three main collections of cultural data being managed by the Statistics Working Group, through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, are:

  • the Cultural Attendance and Participation Survey
  • the Cultural Funding by Government Survey
  • the compilation of state and territory profiles.

Another of the Statistics Working Group’s projects has been the development of the Australian Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts using a range of detailed data to measure the economic contribution of cultural and creative activity in Australia. This work has been undertaken in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). In February 2014, the ABS released a report analysing the results from the Australian National Accounts: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts 2008–09.

The Statistics Working Group is updating its website, Cultural Data Online, which will provide free online access to Australian arts and culture research and reports.

Members include the Australian Government, state and territory arts and culture ministries, the Australia Council and Screen Australia.

The secretariat role rotates among the jurisdictions. The current secretariat is the Australian Government.