- In 2012, a small minority (5.9%) of American adults wrote as a means of creative expression, a decline from a high of 7.4% in 1992 and a one percentage point drop from 2008 (Indicator V-07a; this downward trend is similar to that for book reading among children and adults).
- In each of the five surveys administered by the National Endowment for the Arts asking Americans about their arts participation, the age group found most likely to engage in creative writing was that comprising the nation’s youngest adults (ages 18–24). Creative writing is substantially less common among older adults, although it appears to be on the rise among those 55 and older.
* See this indicator’s supporting table for information as to which differences between years and age groups are statistically significant.
Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Data accessed and analyzed via the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research Data Archive [files used: “1982–2008 (ICPSR 35527)” and “2012 (ICPSR 35168)”]. Data presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).
The data on which this indicator is based are from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA). In 2012 the wording of the SPPA creative writing item changed slightly. Whereas in 1982–2008, respondents were asked if they did creative writing other than for school or work, in 2012 the question asked respondents to indicate whether they had done creative writing at all, regardless of the context.