SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans' attendance at performing cultural and arts events has been steadily rising in recent years due to higher incomes and interest in cultural life, a government survey said Monday.
The survey, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, showed that the rate of public attendance at cultural and arts events rose to 81.5 percent in a one-year period from Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.
The rate represented an increase of 3.2 percentage points from 78.3 percent recorded in 2016 and marked the first time the figure has topped 80 percent since the government began such a poll in 1988.
The number of visits to cultural and arts events also increased to an average of 5.6 times annually from 5.3 times in 2016.
The ministry and the institute have conducted the survey biennially to understand the needs and reality of the people's cultural enjoyment. The latest poll was conducted on 10,558 people older than 15 across the country in October and November last year.
The attendance rate refers to the portion of respondents who have attended cultural and arts events, such as music, theater, dance, movies, museums and art galleries, during the designated one-year period.
South Koreans' rates of attendance at cultural and arts events have steadily ascended, rising from 62.4 percent in 2003 to 67.3 percent in 2008, 69.6 percent in 2012 and 71.3 percent in 2014. Over the past 15 years, the rate jumped by 19.1 percentage points.
By field, movie viewing rate was the highest at 75.8 percent, followed by popular music and entertainment (21.1 percent), art exhibitions (15.3 percent), theater (14.4 percent) and musicals (13 percent). The attendance rates showed grew steadily in all fields.
By age, people aged 15-19 showed an attendance rate of 96.1 percent, while people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and older than 70 registered rates of 97.1 percent, 91.6 percent, 89 percent, 79.4 percent, 64.7 percent and 46.9 percent, respectively.
By income, households with monthly incomes between 1 million won (US$890) and 2 million won showed an attendance rate of 58.4 percent, compared with 91.9 percent for households with monthly income of over 6 million won.
Ministry officials said the government will continue to increase cultural subsidies for low-income households and expand social infrastructure in the fields of culture and arts.