The Broadway League announced its findings from its 2016–2017 “Demographics of the Broadway Audience” survey. The report explores audience behavior and statistics, including census data, point of purchase, and theatregoing frequency.
Highlights of the new report include the indication of a continually rising rate of young attendees. A quarter of survey participants were under the age of 25, with an estimated 1.65 million theatregoers under 18. This marked the largest amount of minors at Broadway shows since the League’s analyses began 20 years ago.
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin attributes the rise in younger representation in Broadway houses to such programs as Kids’ Night on Broadway, Broadway Bridges, and the Jimmy Awards—all aimed to instill an interest in theatre and performing in students.
However, at 41.7 years old, Broadway audiences were still on average older than the general U.S. population. (People aged 50 or older, who account for 32.1 percent of the population, made up 38.8 percent of last season’s Broadway audience.)
The season also saw an increase in New York City-based theatregoers, who accounted for 22 percent of audiences—the highest in 15 years. An additional 18 percent hailed from surrounding suburbs (Long Island, Westchester/Rockland, and Northern New Jersey).
Total attendance came in at 13.3 million, which is on par with the season before. As is the case with the past several seasons, two-thirds of those attendees identified as female.
Additionally, the report shows that audiences at plays tend to be more frequent theatregoers than musical theatre audiences; survey participants at plays saw an average of nine shows in the past year while those at musicals saw four.
The full reports are available for purchase at BroadwayLeague.com.