85 percent of women, 67 percent of men, spent time doing household activities on average day in 2015

June 30, 2016

On a typical day in 2015, people in the United States age 15 and over spent, on average, 8.8 hours sleeping, 5.2 hours doing leisure and sports activities, 3.5 hours working or doing work-related activities, and 1.8 hours doing household activities. They spent the remaining 4.7 hours doing a variety of other activities, including eating and drinking, attending school, and shopping.

Time spent in primary activities and percentage of the civilian population engaging in each activity, averages per day by sex, 2015 annual averages
Activity Average hours per day, civilian population Average percent engaged in the activity per day Average hours per day for persons who engaged in the activity
Total  Men  Women Total  Men  Women Total  Men  Women

Personal care activities (including sleeping)

9.64 9.43 9.85 100.0 99.9 100.0 9.65 9.44 9.85

Leisure and sports

5.21 5.58 4.86 96.1 96.6 95.6 5.42 5.77 5.09

Working and work-related activities

3.53 4.18 2.92 43.9 49.8 38.5 8.03 8.40 7.58

Household activities

1.84 1.43 2.23 76.4 67.0 85.2 2.41 2.13 2.61

Eating and drinking

1.18 1.24 1.13 95.0 95.1 95.0 1.24 1.30 1.19

Purchasing goods and services

0.75 0.60 0.88 44.0 40.0 47.7 1.70 1.50 1.86

Caring for and helping household members

0.51 0.31 0.70 25.0 19.4 30.1 2.06 1.61 2.32

Educational activities

0.46 0.48 0.45 8.0 7.6 8.3 5.79 6.26 5.39

Organizational, civic, and religious activities

0.33 0.29 0.37 15.0 12.8 16.9 2.23 2.28 2.20

Caring for and helping nonhousehold members

0.19 0.16 0.21 11.2 9.5 12.8 1.66 1.68 1.65

Telephone calls, mail, and e-mail

0.16 0.12 0.20 21.4 16.7 25.7 0.75 0.71 0.78

Other activities, not elsewhere classified

0.19 0.19 0.20 13.9 12.3 15.4 1.40 1.54 1.30

On an average day in 2015, men spent 9.4 hours per day on personal care activities, including sleeping; women spent 9.9 hours.

Nearly everyone (96 percent) engaged in some sort of leisure activity such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Of those who engaged in leisure activities, men spent an average of 5.8 hours in these activities and women spent 5.1 hours. Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time, accounting for more than half of leisure time.

People spent an average of 3.5 hours per day on work and work-related activities in 2015, averaging both those who were employed and those who were not, across every day of the week. Nearly 50 percent of men engaged in work and work-related activities on an average day, while 39 percent of women did so. The men who engaged in working or work related activities spent 8.4 hours on these activities on an average day; women who engaged in these activities spent 7.6 hours.

The 1.8 hours per day, on average, spent on household activities included time spent doing housework, cooking, lawn care, or financial and other household management. On an average day, 85 percent of women and 67 percent of men spent some time doing household activities. On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on such activities, while men spent 2.1 hours. (The average of 1.8 hours includes both people who did such activities and those who did not.)

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see "American Time Use Survey — 2015 Results" (HTML) (PDF). Note that time measurements are presented as decimal numbers, so 3.5 hours is 3 hours and 30 minutes (and should not be mistakenly read as 3 hours and 50 minutes).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 85 percent of women, 67 percent of men, spent time doing household activities on average day in 2015 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/85-percent-of-women-67-percent-of-men-spent-time-doing-household-activities-on-average-day-in-2015.htm (visited August 18, 2017).

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