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Time spent in educational activities in 2016

August 29, 2017

It’s that time of year when students return to school as summer break ends. Young people are more likely than older people to spend time in educational activities, but some older adults spend time on their education too. On an average day in 2016, 37.4 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds engaged in educational activities, such as attending class or doing homework or research. That compares with 6.0 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds and 2.5 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds. Overall, 8.3 percent of people age 15 and older engaged in educational activities on an average day in 2016.

 

 

Percent of people engaged in educational activities on an average day in 2016, by age
Age Educational activities, total Attending class Homework and research

Total

8.3 5.3 6.2

15 to 24 years

37.4 26.5 28.1

25 to 34 years

6.0 2.5 5.0

35 to 44 years

2.5 1.2 1.8

45 to 54 years

2.1 0.9 1.3

55 to 64 years

1.4 0.5 0.9

65 years and older

0.7 0.4 0.2

Data refer to all days of the week.

On the days people engaged in educational activities, they spent considerable time on them. People ages 15 to 24 spent an average of 6.48 hours on educational activities on the days they engaged in those activities in 2016. They spent 5.47 hours attending class and 2.81 hours doing homework or research on the days they did so. (The hours spent in these two categories do not sum to the total because people may not attend class or do homework or research on the same day.) Overall, people age 15 and older spent an average of 5.92 hours per day in educational activities on the days they engaged in those activities in 2016.

 

 

Average hours per day people engaged in educational activities on the days they did the activities in 2016, by age
Age Educational activities, total Attending class Homework and research

Total

5.92 5.16 2.90

15 to 24 years

6.48 5.47 2.81

25 to 34 years

5.17 4.14 3.53

35 to 44 years

4.04 3.20 3.36

45 to 54 years

3.88 4.22 2.57

55 to 64 years

2.45 1.90

65 years and older

2.27

Dash indicates the estimate does not meet survey publication standards.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see "American Time Use Survey — 2016 Results" (HTML) (PDF). Educational activities include time spent taking classes for a degree or for personal interest (including taking Internet or other distance-learning courses). Educational activities also include time spent doing research and homework, time spent taking care of administrative tasks related to education (such as registering for classes or obtaining a school ID), and related travel. For high school students, before- and after-school extracurricular activities (except sports) also count as educational activities. Educational activities do not include time spent in classes or training received as part of a job; these count as work-related activities. Time spent helping others with their educational activities counts as caring for and helping others.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Time spent in educational activities in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/time-spent-in-educational-activities-in-2016.htm (visited December 05, 2019).

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