League Announces Broadway Demographics for 2008-09 Season

By Andrew Gans
December 11, 2009

The Broadway League released its annual demographics report Dec. 10. The latest report concerns the 2008-2009 theatre season.

Surveys were distributed at 24 productions during the period June 2008-June 2009. Findings are based on the 6,365 questionnaires that were returned.

The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 42.2 years old, slightly older than last season, while those aged 25-34 accounted for 16 percent of all tickets sold, the highest for that age group since the 1999-2000 season. Theatregoers were also an affluent bunch, with an average reported income of $195,700. Seventy-three percent had also earned a college degree, with 36 percent going on to earn a graduate degree.

International visitors accounted for 21 percent of the 12.15 million theatregoers who attended Broadway productions; in fact, tourists from home and abroad accounted for 63 percent of all tickets sold.

The internet remained the leading method for purchasing tickets: 40 percent of all theatregoers went on-line to buy their tickets.

In a statement Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, said, "Broadway is a national pastime! As there is more of a choice for the theatregoer than ever before, it is exciting to report that we are seeing a wider audience for Broadway. Our shows, and our audience, are more diverse than ever. With our goal to make Broadway a stronger international brand, we do believe that the increased attendance from foreign visitors to New York City reflects that these efforts are working. A stronger international brand will not only be an asset for Broadway’s business, but for the New York City economy as well."

Other findings of the League's report follow:

  • Playgoers said that critics' reviews were most influential in their decision in selecting shows, while musical fans said they relied more on personal recommendation. Playgoers tended to see more shows during the season (an average of eight) than musicalgoers (an average of four).

  • Those who saw 15 or more shows during the season comprised five percent of the theatre-going audience.

    The Demographics of the Broadway Audience is published annually by The Broadway League, the "clearinghouse for information on the business, demographics and economic impact of Broadway theatre throughout North America." For more information visit www.broadwayleague.com/orderform.php.