Charts from the American Time Use Survey

About the Charts

The American Time Use Survey collects information about the activities people do during the day and how much time they spend doing them. For example, on an average day in 2013, Americans age 15 and over slept about 8.7 hours, spent 5.3 hours doing leisure and sports activities, worked for 3.5 hours, and spent 1.8 hours doing household activities. The remaining 4.7 hours were spent in a variety of other activities, including eating and drinking, attending school, and shopping.

Time use on an average work day for employed persons ages 25 to 54 with children
[Chart in PDF]

[Chart data—TXT]

If this "average day" does not sound like a typical day in your household, it is because these numbers are for all persons in the U.S. age 15 and over, and for all days of the week combined. The information can be further analyzed by age, sex, employment status, day of the week, or presence and age of household children. Looking at information for certain groups in the population provides a more accurate picture of how each group spends its time. For example, the chart above shows how employed persons ages 25 to 54, who live in households with children under 18, spent their time on an average workday. These individuals spent an average of 8.7 hours working or in work-related activities, 7.7 hours sleeping, 2.5 hours doing leisure and sports activities, and 1.3 hours caring for others, including children.

The following charts provide a snapshot of how people use their time. These lists are not exclusive—they only contain some of the most interesting or commonly cited statistics from the survey.

List of ATUS charts

Older Americans

  • Leisure time of individuals age 65 and over: employed vs. not employed (PDF) (TXT)
  • Hours per day that individuals age 55 and over spent doing selected activities (PDF) (TXT)
  • Hours per day of waking, non-work time that individuals age 65 and over spent with others (PDF) (TXT)

Students

  • Time use on an average weekday for full-time university and college students (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of university and college students who did educational activities, by hour of day on weekdays (PDF) (TXT)
  • Average hours per weekday spent by high school students in various activities (PDF) (TXT)

Care of household children (by adults living in households with children)

  • Weekday time use of married women living with young children, by employment status (PDF) (TXT)

Household activities

  • Average hours per day men and women spent in various activities (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of population who did household activities on an average day (PDF) (TXT)

Leisure and sports activities

  • Leisure time on an average day (PDF) (TXT)
  • Average hours spent per day in leisure and sports activities, by youngest and oldest populations (PDF) (TXT)

Sleep

  • Average sleep times per day, by age and sex (PDF) (TXT)

Volunteer activities

  • Percent of population who volunteered on an average day, by age (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of population who volunteered on each day of the week (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of persons who volunteered that did selected volunteer activities on an average day (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of population who volunteered and hours spent volunteering, by educational attainment (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of persons who volunteered, by presence and age of youngest child (PDF) (TXT)

Work and employment

  • Time use on an average work day for employed persons ages 25 to 54 with children (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of population who worked on weekdays and weekend days (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of employed persons who worked at home on an average workday (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of employed persons who worked at home on an average workday, by education level (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of employed persons who did selected activities on workdays by hour of the day (PDF) (TXT)

Eldercare

  • Percent of population who were eldercare providers (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent of eldercare providers who provided care on an average day (PDF) (TXT)
  • Time spent providing care on days eldercare was provided workday (PDF) (TXT)
  • Percent distribution of time spent providing eldercare (PDF) (TXT)
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Other resources for finding ATUS data

Visual essays and other publications:

ATUS news releases:

  • Unpaid eldercare in the United States, 2011-12 (HTML) (PDF)
  • Married Parents' Use of Time, 2003-06 (HTML) (PDF)

ATUS tables:

    Civilian noninstitutional population age 15 and over

  • Table A-1. Time spent in detailed primary activities, and percent of the civilian population engaging in each detailed activity category, averages per day by sex (PDFs) (2013) (2012) (2011) (2010) (2009) (2008) (2007) (2006) (2005) (2004) (2003) | (XLS)
  • Table A-2. Time spent in detailed primary activities, and percent of the civilian population engaging in each detailed primary activity category, averages per day on weekdays and weekends (PDFs) (2013) (2012) (2011) (2010) (2009) (2008) (2007) (2006) (2005) (2004) (2003) | (XLS)
  • Table A-3. Percent of the population engaging in selected activities by time of day, 2009-13 (HTML) (PDF) 2007-011 (HTML) (PDF) 2005-09 (HTML) (PDF) 2003-07 (HTML) (PDF)

      Employed persons

    • Table A-4. Percent of employed persons working on their main job on days they worked, by occupation and hour of day, 2011-12 (HTML) (PDF) 2005-09 (HTML) (PDF) 2003-07 (HTML) (PDF)
    • Table A-5. Percent of employed persons working on their main job on days they worked, by industry and hour of day, 2009-13 (HTML) (PDF) 2007-11 (HTML) (PDF) 2005-09 (HTML) (PDF) 2003-07 (HTML) (PDF)
      • Married parents

        Note: Tables A-6 and A-7 are updated and expanded versions of the tables appearing in the May 8, 2008 news release on Married Parents' Use of Time. To access the 2003-06 versions of these tables, see the news release.

      • Table A-6. Time spent in primary activities and the percent of married mothers and fathers who did the activities on an average day by employment status and age of youngest own household child, average for the combined years 2009-13 (HTML) (PDF) 2007-11 (HTML) (PDF) (XLS) and 2005-09 (HTML) (PDF) (XLS)
      • Table A-7. Time spent in primary activities by married mothers and fathers with own household children under 18 by employment status of self and spouse and age of youngest child, average for the combined years 2009-13 (HTML) (PDF) 2007-11 (HTML) (PDF) (XLS) and 2005-09 (HTML) (PDF) (XLS)

      Unpublished tables of time-use estimates by age, ethnicity, employment status, educational attainment, marital status, presence and age of household children, and other categories are available upon request by e-mailing the ATUS staff.

      BLS papers and publications

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      Last Modified Date: September 30, 2014