Broadway League Announces 2012-13 Demographics; Young Theatregoers and International Tourists on the Rise

By Adam Hetrick
January 9, 2014

The Broadway League's 16th annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2012-2013, which is based on data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 2012-2013 Broadway season, has been released.



The report compares current theatregoing habits to previous seasons in predicting trends for the future.

This season attracted the highest percentage of theatregoers age 18–24 (14 percent, or 1.6 million admissions) in the history of this analysis. The average age of the Broadway attendee was 42.5 years old, which is slightly younger than previous seasons. Women again were the predominant attendees of the theatre (at 68 percent).

Word-of-mouth was the most influential factor in show selection and 41 percent of the respondents said they purchased their tickets online.

As in the past, Broadway playgoers were more frequent attendees than those who saw musicals. The typical play attendee saw seven shows in the past year, compared to the musical theatregoer who saw an average of three. The average Broadway theatregoer reported attending four shows in the previous 12 months.

Broadway audiences are still primarily Caucasian (78 percent); however, there has been growth in diversity among Broadway theatregoers. Hispanic attendees account for 8 percent (accounting for 880,000 admissions) this year. 

Tourists accounted for 66 percent of all Broadway tickets sold, up three percent from the 2011-12 season. International tourists accounted for 23 percent of those attending Broadway shows, which equalled 2.6 million tickets.

In addition, attendances by domestic tourists has grown from 3.4 million in 1999 to 5 million in 2013.

"The 2012–2013 season attracted the largest number of admissions by visitors from other countries since this study has begun, with international tourists accounting for 23 percent of all admissions to Broadway shows in New York City, said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, in a statement. "We also saw a notable increase in the diversity of our audiences. In particular, we have seen a growth in the Hispanic audience to nearly 8 percent of our theatergoing audience. We will continue our efforts to diversify the audience with programs like Viva Broadway which was initiated two years ago. This season also attracted the largest number of theatergoers age 18-24, and we are hopeful that this trend will continue and these young adults will continue to attend theatre as they age and introduce the theatregoing tradition to their own families."

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. Printed versions of the reports are available for purchase here.