Active People Survey and Active People Interactive

The Active People Survey (APS) is the largest sport and active recreation survey ever established. It is a telephone survey for adults living in England (aged 14 years and over). It identifies how participation varies from place to place and between different groups in the population.

Active People Interactive (API) is an online reporting and analysis resource which gives access to Active People Survey results. Active People Interactive is a powerful tool which local authorities, Active Partnetships (APs), national governing bodies of sport (NGBs), and many other national and regional partners use to run their own analysis to better understand sports participation.

How can the APs use the tool with partners?

APs can use Active People Survey data to better understand patterns of participation in their area. This could involve analysis of overall participation in each of the local authorities in the AP or specific sports participation across the AP area. Active People Interactive is a very useful resource to access this kind of data and/or for partners to conduct their own analysis.

APs will work with NGBs to help them utilise Active People and Sports Market Segmentation data at the local level to further support any nationally agreed approach between Sport England and the NGB.

What are the costs?

Sport England pay the cost of the Active People Survey and there are no costs either to access the Active People Survey results on Sport England’s website or to use Active People Interactive.

What can it be used for?

The Active People Survey is a fantastic resource for anyone involved in the development and delivery of sport. It provides a rich picture of adult sports participation in England going back to October 2005. The evidence it provides can be used to support strategic planning for sport down to local authority level.

Active People Interactive enables users to interrogate the wealth of Active People Survey data that exists to build up a more detailed and specific picture of participation in the particular sport and/or geographical area of interest to them.

What will it tell me?

The primary purpose of the Active People Survey is to measure participation in sport and active recreation at a local authority level and across the Whole Sport Plan-funded sports. The survey also measures a range of other things including the proportion of the adult population that volunteers in sport on a regular basis, club membership, involvement in organised sport/competition, receipt of tuition or coaching and satisfaction with local provision. As well as geographic and sport analysis, findings can be analysed by a broad range of demographic characteristics, such as gender, social class, ethnicity, household structure, age and disability.

Active People Interactive enables users to interrogate Active People Survey data to assess levels and patterns of sport and active recreation in their area or sport, and to benchmark and profile performance.

The Active People Survey is reported on a bi-annual basis with reports on participation in:

  • Regional, AP and local authority areas
  • Gender, age and other demographic information
  • Individual sports.

The Active People Survey is a key building block in some of our other products, such as the Local Sport Profiles and Sports Market Segmentation.

What won't it tell me?

The Active People Survey is a general population survey that can provide reliable estimates of participation in sport and recreation down to local authority level. However, even with its large sample sizes, the Active People Survey will not be able to tell you the impact of specific interventions and/or facilities on local participation. The extent to which local results can be reported for sports and/or broken down by demographic groups will be limited by the popularity of the sport and the size of the demographic group being considered.

Where can I find out more?

On our website:

Active People Survey

Active People Interactive

If you have any other queries, please contact the Research Team at Sport England:

May 2014