The Statistics Working Group manages a national program of cultural data collection, research and analysis.

The Statistics Working Group 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 is funded through the Meeting of Cultural Ministers Officials Working Group.

It commissions a range of statistical research that it makes available through Cultural Data Online.

The Australian Government, on behalf of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers, has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The current Memorandum of Understanding (2015-16 to 2017-18) covers three collections of cultural data. These are:

  • the Cultural Attendance and Participation Survey
  • the Cultural Funding by Government Survey
  • jurisdictional profiles.

The Statistics Working Group also worked with the ABS to develop the Australian Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts. These are collections of detailed data that measure the economic impact of cultural and creative activity in Australia. In February 2014, the ABS released a report analysing the results from the Australian National Accounts: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts 2008–09.

Members of the Statistics Working Group include the Australian Government, state and territory arts and culture agencies, the Australia Council for the Arts and Screen Australia.

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