United States: Time Use Survey


Every day we have just 24 hours to accomplish it all. Every day we make hundreds of decisions to parse out those 24 hours. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics in its American Time Use Survey examines just how Americans divvy up their time with input gathered from over 180,000 interviewees aged 15 and older. The survey yields unique insight into "how, where, and with whom Americans spend their time”.

In 2016, Americans spent an additional 11 minutes on average daily on “relaxation and leisure”, with TV viewing accounting for the largest gain, especially among male respondents. Among American women, “personal/private activities” became the most time consuming activity—with a gain of two hours over the 2003 reported level—however, only 0.5 percent of surveyed women indicated spending any time on this activity. The top 10 activities for women overall were unchanged between 2003 and 2016, with personal care, sleep, and leisure and sports accounting for the top three activities. 

During the last 13 years, survey data suggests that American men worked roughly 1.5 hours more per day than women and while also spending more time on sports, watching TV, and playing games. In contrast, women reported allocating more time to sleep, personal grooming, and housework.

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