June 29, 2007
On an "average day" in 2006, persons in the U.S. age 15 and older slept about 8.6 hours, spent 5.1 hours doing leisure and sports activities, worked for 3.8 hours, and spent 1.8 hours doing household activities.
Eating and drinking accounted for 1.2 hours in the average day, and purchasing goods and services took 0.8 of an hour (48 minutes). The remainder of the day was spent attending school, caring for others, or engaged in a variety of other activities.
These "average day" measures, which show the overall distribution of time allocation for society as a whole, are calculated with data from all segments of the civilian population age 15 and over—including persons who are employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force.
By comparison, an average weekday for persons employed full time and who worked on that day included 9.3 hours working, 7.6 hours sleeping, 3.0 hours doing leisure and sports activities, and 0.9 hour doing household activities. The remaining 3.2 hours were spent in other activities, such as those described above.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, The average day, 2006 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jun/wk4/art05.htm (visited November 25, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.