Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), 2012 [United States] (ICPSR 35168)
Published: Oct 22, 2015
This data collection is comprised of responses from two sets of survey questionnaires, the basic Current Population Survey (CPS) and a survey administered as a supplement to the July 2012 basic CPS questionnaire. The supplement, on the topic of public participation in the arts in the United States, was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The CPS, administered monthly, collects labor force data about the civilian noninstitutional population aged 15 years old or older living in the United States. Moreover, the CPS provides current estimates of the economic status and activities of this population which includes estimates of total employment (both farm and nonfarm), nonfarm self-employed persons, domestics, and unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salaried employees, and estimates of total unemployment. The basic CPS data are provided on labor force activity for the week prior to the survey. In addition, CPS provides respondents' demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, family relationship, occupation, and industry.
In addition to the basic CPS questions, interviewers asked supplementary questions on public participation in the arts of two randomly selected household members aged 18 or older from about one-half of the sampled CPS households. Interviews were conducted during the period of July 15-21, 2012. The supplement contained questions about the sampled member's participation in various artistic activities from July 1, 2011 through July 1, 2012. If the selected person had a spouse or partner, then the respondent answered questions on behalf of their spouse/partner. Therefore, the spouse/partner responses are proxies. If a respondent was answering for themselves and on behalf of their spouse or partner, the respondent and spouse/partner questions followed the same path through the instrument. Spouse/partner questions were asked on core participation (Core 1 or Core 2), leisure activities (Module D), and the first four questions of Module A. The total sample size of the 2012 SPPA was 35,735 American adults, ages 18 and over.
The 2012 SPPA included two core components: a questionnaire used in previous years to ask about arts attendance; and a new, experimental module on arts attendance. In addition, the survey included five modules designed to capture other types of arts participation as well as participation in other leisure activities. Respondents were randomly assigned to either of the survey's core questionnaires, and then were randomly assigned to two of the remaining five SPPA modules. Questions were asked about the type of artistic activity, the frequency of participation, training and exposure, musical and artistic preferences, school-age socialization, and computer and device usage related to artistic information. The topics were separated into the five modules (each module was administered to only a portion of the sampled cases):
- Module A: Other Attendance and Music Preferences (reading, film, or sporting event attendance; other live performances; and music listening preferences)
- Module B: Accessing Art through Media (using media for participation in artistic events and frequency of participation in past year)
- Module C: Creating Arts through Media (participation in certain types of other leisure or artistic activities, public artistic performances, and using media to share activities in past year)
- Module D: Creating, Performing, and Other Activities (sport activities, other art activities, and musical performance activities in past year)
- Module E: Arts Learning (art related lessons or classes, respondent age during lessons/classes, location of lessons/classes, respondents' parents' education, and the participation of the respondents' school age children)
National Endowment for the Arts
Smallest Geographic Unit
Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA)
Distributor(s)Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2011-07-01 -- 2012-07-01
Date of Collection
2012-07-15 -- 2012-07-21
Data Collection Notes
This data collection was previously distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from their website.
The SPPA 2012 was originally released in September 2013. This previous release has been revised to reflect changes in how the 2012 SPPA counted "interviews." Specifically, the Census revisions count "yes," "no," and "don't know" as interviews, in accordance with estimates generated from the 2008 and earlier waves of the SPPA. Alternatively, the September 2013 estimates provided by the U.S. Census Bureau had included respondents who "refused to answer" as interviews--an action that clouded comparisons with previous SPPA waves.
Many of the 2012 SPPA estimates were unaffected by these revisions. And of those that were affected, most changes to participation rates were marginal, often in the range of 1-2 tenths of a percentage point.
Users are strongly encouraged to refer the CPS User Guide (produced by the Census Bureau), which contains additional detailed technical documentation regarding the CPS study design, sampling frame used, and response rates. Users are also encouraged to read the SPPA User Guide (produced by the Urban Institute) for information about the SPPA, including the design, dealing with missing respondent data, weights, and multi-variable analysis.
The universe statements for each variable are defined in the basic or supplement record layouts found in Attachment 6 and 7, respectively, of the CPS User Guide.
The SPPA provides estimates for 32 states: Alabama; California; Colorado, Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Iowa; Kansas; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Texas; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; and Wyoming.
In addition, the SPPA can reliably supply arts participation estimates for 11 metropolitan areas: Boston-Worchester-Manchester, MA-NH; Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO; Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL; New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA; Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD; San Jose-Francisco-Oakland, CA; and Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV.
Users cannot do analysis that combines variables from Core 1 and Core 2 because respondents were assigned to either complete Core 1 or Core 2, but never Core 1 and Core 2. Also, analyses cannot use variables from more than two modules in the same runs since no respondent answered more than 2 modules. So doing such analyses can raise sample size concerns.
Users must use appropriate weights to analyze the SPPA 2012 data. For online analysis, subsets of the data were created, each with the variables that need to be used with the 1 SPPA weight variable. The Part 2 dataset contains CPS variables and SPPA Core 1 questions including those about asked respondents' and their spouse/partners' artistic activity and frequency of participation in the past year. The Part 3 dataset contains CPS variables and SPPA Core 2 experimental questions including those about asked respondents' and their spouse/partners' artistic activity and frequency of participation in the past year. The Part 4 dataset contains CPS variables and SPPA modules A1 and D questions that asked respondents and their spouse/partners about reading, film, and sporting event attendance as well as creating, performing, and other artistic activities in the past year. The Part 5 dataset contains CPS variables and SPPA Module A2 questions that asked respondents about other live performances attendances and music listening preferences in the past year. The Part 6 dataset contains CPS variables and Modules B, C, and E questions including those that asked respondents about accessing art through media and frequency of participation through the media in the past year, creating arts through the media in the past year, and participation in arts education in the past year.
The "PC" variables (e.g. JAZZ_PC) should be used to match the SPPA 2012 published results.
Information regarding data processing for this data collection is in the "Codebook Notes" page(s) in the ICPSR Codebook. Most notably:
- For this data collection, ICPSR created the CASEID variable which is a unique case identifier.
- The "Basic CPS Record Layout" section in the CPS User Guide (see Attachment 6) contains many FILLER variables and a couple PADDING variables with column locations. Also, only 1 FILLER variable was found in the data that ICPSR received, and ICPSR removed the FILLER variable. As a result, the column locations in any ICPSR-released data product (e.g., codebook and setup files) will have column locations that are not consistent with locations described in the CPS User Guide.
- Please note that missing values and their labels for the CPS variables are not the same as the missing values and labels for variables in the SPPA Supplement.
Due to the limit in the number of allowable columns of 256 in Excel 97-2003 (file ending, xls), the Excel file being distributed with this collection is in the later version of Excel (file ending of xlsx).
The purpose of the SPPA supplement was to examine American adults' participation in the arts and other leisure activities.
The SPPA supplement was administered to about one-half of the eligible CPS households. These were the households that were in the exit round of the CPS sample rotation. Computer-assisted personal interviews and computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted during the period of July 15-21, 2012. After taking into account nonresponse, a total of 20,847 households provided at least one completed SPPA interview. The SPPA survey allows proxy responses for spouse or partners and in larger households a second supplemental interview was often conducted. The final distribution of 2012 SPPA interviews consisted of an initial 20,847 randomly selected adults, plus an additional 3,506 interviews were collected from adults residing in larger households, and there were 11,382 spouse or partner proxy interviews. Overall data on 35,735 adults was collected and the average number of completed adult interviews per household was 1.7.
The SPPA was conducted as part of the Current Population Survey, an ongoing data collection effort of the United States Census Bureau. About 60,000 occupied households are eligible for a CPS interview each month. Sample households are selected by a multi-stage stratified statistical sampling scheme. The SPPA supplement was administered to about one-half of the sample of CPS households. The SPPA surveys randomly sampled adults and accepted proxy responses for spouses or partners. The total sample size of the 2012 SPPA was 35,735 United States adults, ages 18 and over, with 31.9 percent represented by spouse/partner proxy respondents, and 13.6 percent were represented by full proxy respondents for the initially-selected respondents.
The basic CPS universe consisted of all persons aged 15 years and older in the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States living in households. The 2012 SPPA supplement universe is comprised of persons 18 years of age or older from about one-half of the eligible CPS households.
Unit(s) of Observation
Mode of Data Collection
computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI)
computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)
Description of Variables
The CPS variables provide labor force data containing current estimates of the economic status and activities of this population which includes estimates of total employment (both farm and nonfarm), nonfarm self-employed persons, domestics, and unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salaried employees, and estimates of total unemployment. The CPS variables also cover respondents' demographic information: age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, family relationship, occupation, and industry. The SPPA supplement variables offer information about type of artistic activity, the frequency of participation, training and exposure, musical and artistic preferences, school-age socialization, and computer and device usage related to artistic information.
Original Release Date2014-12-11
2014-12-11 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Standardized missing values.
- Created online analysis version with question text.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
2015-10-22 An updated version of the Report "How a Nation Engages with Art" (in PDF) is being released for this data collection.
2015-01-12 The Excel file has been updated for this data collection.
2015-01-09 2015-01-05 Variable groups, some variable labels, and the ICPSR codebook have been updated in this data collection. Also, two Quick Facts (infographics) have been added to the documentation for this data collection.
The data contain seven basic CPS weight variables:
- Household Weight, HWHHWGT, should be used for tallying household characteristics.
- Family Weight, PWFMWGT, should be used only for tallying family characteristics.
- Longitudinal Weight, PWLGWGT, should be used for gross flows analysis and is found only on adult records matched from month to month.
- Outgoing Rotation Weight, PWORWGT, should be used for tallying information collected only in outgoing rotations.
- Final Weight, PWSSWGT, is used for most tabulations, controlled to independent estimates for (1) States; (2) Origin, Sex, and Age; and (3) Age, Race, and Sex.
- Veterans Weight, PWVETWGT, should be used for tallying veterans data only.
- Composited Final Weight, PWCMPWGT, is used to create BLS's published labor force statistics.
The five supplement weights associated with the July 2012 Public Participation in the Arts supplement are:
- The first weight, PWOWGT, should be used to create estimates from Core 1.
- The second weight, PWTWGT, should be used to create estimates from Core 2.
- The third weight, PWSWGT, should be used to create estimates from Modules A1 and D.
- The fourth weight, PWAWGT, should be used to create estimates from Module A2.
- The fifth weight, PWNWGT, should be used to create estimates from Modules B, C, and E.
Users are strongly encouraged to refer to the User Guide for detailed information on how the weights were derived and how to use the weights.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.