Why go to museums

There are still more grey-haired old ladies than teenagers who think museums have something to offer. But more young people have found their way to museums as demonstrated in a national survey by the Danish Agency for Culture. 42,000 people participated

Danish museums are pleased that more and more young people are finding their way to the wisdom in museums. Illustration: Claus Bigum

Museums in Denmark are a hit. A least, that’s what most of the  41,728 people who took the time to answer 14 questions put to them by the Danish Agency for Culture think after visiting one of 188 museum exhibitions around the country.

On a scale from 1 to 10, those surveyed rated the overall experience of their visit with a score of 8.35. This is an increase over earlier years.  Museum personnel can be pleased that, in the survey’s overall assessment, the information at ticket sales, service, and assistance count most.
Lowest in the assessment are the opportunity to participate actively and suitability for children.

In the national user survey, a rise has been recorded in the number of young people between the ages of 14 and 29 who visit museums.  In the period from 2009 – 2011, the share rose from 12 per cent to 15 per cent. However, young people are still the most underrepresented group, while the age group between 50 and 64 is overrepresented in relation to their segment of the Danish population.

Explorer or Tag-Along

The motivation to come to museums has for the first time been mapped and divided into types.  The six motivation profiles range from the ‘explorer’, who is driven by curiosity and a desire to learn, to the ‘tag-along’ type, who goes along (is dragged) to the museum because someone else thought it would be a good idea.

“It’s wonderful that people are going to museums as never before; and, generally speaking, the satisfaction is great,” says Ole Winther, department head of the Danish Agency for Culture.
“The survey shows that there are still challenges to be met to become relevant for all population groups.  But the museums are dealing with these challenges professionally, and the user survey provides museums with a good tool for working strategically in the development of a cultural democracy in Denmark.”

The survey was done by the Danish Agency for Culture in collaboration with universities, museums, the Association of Danish Museums, cultural institutions, and TNS Gallup.

For additional information on the survey’s results, contact the Danish Agency for Culture:
Department Head Ole Winther, phone +45 33 74 52 10, ow@remove-this.kulturstyrelsen.dk

Special Consultant Ida Brændholt Lundgaard, phone +45 33 74 51 94, ibl@remove-this.kulturstyrelsen.dk

The publication may be downloaded

Read more about museums in Denmark 

Last updated: 30.12.2015


Ole Winther
33 74 52 10
Ida Brændholt Lundgaard
33 74 51 94
  • Agency for Culture and Palaces
  • H.C. Andersens Boulevard 2
  • DK-1553 Copenhagen V
  • Telephone: +45 33 95 42 00

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