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18
Oct

The Broadway League Reveals "The Demographics Of The Broadway Audience" For 2017–2018 Season

The Broadway League’s annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2017–2018, compares current Broadway theatregoing habits in New York City to previous seasons and aids in predicting trends for the future. This report is the 21st publication in a longitudinal study that tracks the trends and changes of the Broadway audiences over time.

During the 2017–2018 season, the average age of Broadway theatregoers was 40.6, the lowest since 2000, and for the second year in a row, there was a record total number of kids and teens under 18 attending a Broadway show. At 2.1 million, this is the highest total ever (it was 1.65 million the season prior). Additionally, since the 2010-2011 season, Hispanic/Latino attendance has grown by 61% or 430,000 admissions (from 710,000 to 1.14 million).

The analysis is based on extensive survey data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 20172018 Broadway season in New York City highlighting both audience demographics and their ticket purchasing habits. Each year brings fluctuations to the make-up of audiences due to a variety of reasons such as content, weather, the economy, and changing competition for leisure activities. Therefore, this longitudinal analysis is important to track the trends and changes of the Broadway audiences over time.

“This report shows that the vast majority of current theatregoers had some connection to theatregoing as a child, which is why programs like Kids’ Night on Broadway®, Broadway Bridges®, and the Jimmy® Awards are so important in encouraging young people to be interested in theatre. It’s exciting to see record numbers of kids and teens attending Broadway shows,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “In addition, since the creation of Viva Broadway in 2011, we’ve seen the Hispanic/Latino attendance grow by 61%. Broadway is truly for everyone, and with the wide variety of productions available, audiences are really responding.”

MORE FROM THE 2017 – 2018 REPORT

  • In the 2017–2018 season, Broadway shows welcomed 13.8 million admissions.
  • Approximately 38% of those attendances were by people from the New York City metropolitan area.
  • Sixty-three percent of admissions were made by tourists: 48% from the United States (but outside New York City and its suburbs) and 15% from other countries.
  • Sixty-six percent of the audiences were female.
  • A record 2.1 million admissions were made by children and teens.
  • The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 40.6 years old, the lowest since 2000.
  • Since the 2010-2011 season, Hispanic/Latino attendance has grown by 61% or 430,000 admissions (from 710,000 to 1.14 million).
  • Of theatregoers age 25 or older, 81% had completed college and 41% had earned a graduate degree.
  • The average annual household income of the Broadway theatregoer was $222,120.
  • The average Broadway theatregoer reported attending 5 shows in the previous 12 months. The group of devoted fans who attended 15 or more performances comprised only 5.5% of the audience, but accounted for 31% of all tickets (4.3 million admissions).
  • Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical straight-play attendee saw nine shows in the past year; the musical attendee, four.
  • Sixty percent of respondents said they purchased their tickets online.
  • The average reported date of ticket purchase for a Broadway show was 43 days before the performance.
  • The majority of theatregoers attended in pairs or small groups of family or friends.
  • Approximately a third of responses included some kind of personal recommendation including word-of-mouth, asking friends, or reading posts on social media.

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.  The League compiles various statistics and publishes extensive reports on a number of topics. The reports are available for purchase online at https://www.broadwayleague.com/research/order-research-reports/.

The Broadway League thanks TDF for its generous support in co-funding this ongoing research project.