Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), United States, 2022 (ICPSR 38936)

Version Date: Feb 12, 2024 View help for published

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National Endowment for the Arts; United States. Bureau of the Census

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SPPA 2022

The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) 2022 collection is comprised of responses from two sets of surveys, the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the SPPA supplement to the CPS administered in July 2022. This supplement asked questions about public participation in the arts within the United States, and was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The CPS, administered monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau, collects labor force data about the civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 15 years or older living in the United States. 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, unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salaried employees, and estimates of total unemployment. The basic CPS items in this data provide labor force activity for the week prior to the survey. In addition, the CPS provides respondents' demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, marital status, educational attainment, family relationships, 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. The supplement contained questions about the respondent's participation in various artistic activities over the last year. If the selected respondent had a spouse or partner, then the respondent answered questions on behalf of their spouse/partner and the spouse/partner responses are proxies.

The 2022 SPPA included two core components: Core 1 (C1Q1A-C1Q17A) and Core 2 (C2Q1A-C2Q1R) asked respondents if they attended any artistic events or live performances, and if so, how often and where. Questions were also asked about any books the respondent may have read.

In addition, the SPPA supplement included four modules designed to capture other types of arts participation. The four modules were separated by topic:

  • Module A (MAQ1A-MAQ5D) asked respondents if they used electronic devices or electronic media to watch or listen to artistic performances and if so, how often. Questions were also asked about sharing information related to artistic performances.
  • Module B (MBQ1A-MBQ4A) and Module C (MCQ1A-MCQ7) asked if the respondent performed any artistic activities (e.g., singing, dancing, playing instrument, painting, photography, etc), and if so, how often and where. Questions were also asked about participation in certain hobbies such as exercising, sports activities, hunting, gardening, etc., and if so, how often.
  • Module D (MDQ1A-MDQ4H) asked if you've ever taken lessons in music, photography, filmmaking, visual arts, acting, theater, dance, creative writing, art history, art or music appreciation, creative coding, computer animation, or digital art. A follow-up question (MDQ2) is asked about if the classes were taken in school. Another follow-up question (MDQ3) is then 3-2 asked if they have done that activity within the last 12 months. A final follow-up question (MDQ4) is then asked if they learned that activity through other means not involving lessons or classes.

National Endowment for the Arts, and United States. Bureau of the Census. Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), United States, 2022. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2024-02-12.

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National Endowment for the Arts

Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA)

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


Estimating Standard Errors. The Census Bureau uses replication methods to estimate the standard errors of CPS and SPPA estimates. These methods primarily measure the magnitude of sampling error. However, they do measure some effects of nonsampling error as well. They do not measure systematic biases in the data associated with nonsampling error. Bias is the average over all possible samples of the differences between the sample estimates and the true value.

There are two ways to calculate standard errors for the SPPA microdata file:

  1. Direct estimates created from replicate weighting methods;
  2. Generalized variance estimates created from generalized variance function (GVF) parameters a and b.

While replicate weighting methods provide the most accurate variance estimates, this approach requires more computing resources and more expertise on the part of the user. The GVF parameters provide a method of balancing accuracy with resource usage as well as a smoothing effect on standard error estimates. GVF parameters are provided in the SPPA Technical Documentation in Table 9 and Table 10.

This collection is related to the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), 2012 [United States], ICPSR 35168 and Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), 2017 [United States], ICPSR 37138. For similar study information and characteristics, please refer to these studies.


The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) supplement to the CPS was conducted to examine American adults' participation in the arts and other leisure activities.

The SPPA supplement was administered to about one-half of eligible CPS households. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted in July of 2022.

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 Current Population Survey universe consisted of all persons aged 15 years or older in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population living the households in the United States. The 2022 SPPA supplement universe is comprised of persons aged 18 years or older that participated in the CPS.

survey data



The data contain seven basic CPS weight variables:

  • Household Weight, HWHHWGT, should be used for tallying household characteristics.
  • Family Weight, PWFMWGT, which should be used only for tallying family characteristics.
  • Longitudinal Weight, PWLGWGT, should be used for gross flow 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 veteran's data only, controlled to estimates of veterans supplied by the VA.
  • Composited Final Weight, PWCMPWGT, is used to create the Bureau of Labor Statistics' published labor force statistics.
The supplemental weight associated with the July 2022 SPPA Supplement is PWSUPWGT.

Please note, the User Guide makes some references to implied decimals in variables in the Survey Data file. These variables are no longer formatted without decimals.

All weights have been processed so that there are no implied decimals.



  • 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.

Free and easy access to data on the arts and on the arts' value and impact for individuals and communities