How People Like You Spend Their Time
The American Time Use Survey is an ongoing program from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that asks thousands of people, as you might guess, what they did during the last 24 hours.
Using the data for 2015, I simulated days for different groups of people so that you can see the hours they typically spend in a 24-hour period. The interactive below shows the results.
Each row represents an activity, and each gray line represents the hours spent in one person’s day. I ran 100 simulations for each demographic group. The orange line shows the median hours for each activity.
For some activities, such as household work and leisure, the number of hours spent varies a lot, which is why you see a lot of criss-crossing lines. However, for other activities, such as sleeping and work, there’s more of pattern, which is why you see a lot of lines headed in the same direction.
Tip: Switch to the absolute scale to compare various demographics. This puts the horizontal scale for every activity at 0 to 24 hours.
More on How Americans Spend Their Day
I used similar data to simulate an average day for 1,000 Americans.
See the half-hour breakdowns for a day, by sex and age group.
Here are the half-hour distributions for all Americans.
- Like in a previous simulation I did, I modeled a day as a time-varying Markov chain using minute-by-minute tabulations of the ATUS data.
- I tabulated, formatted, and simulated in R. The visualized with d3.js.
- The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but I downloaded the extract with the ATUS-X tool, which makes the data much easier to subset and manage. It’s maintained by the Minnesota Population Center and the Maryland Population Research Center.
Become a member. Learn to visualize data. From beginner to advanced.Join Today
This is for people interested in the process of creating, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.
What You Get
- Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
- Source code and files to use with your own data
- In-depth courses on visualization in R
- Hand-picked links and resources from around the web
- Members-only newsletter
How Much the Everyday Changes When You Have Kids
I compared time use for those with children under 18 against those without. Here’s where the minutes go.
Jobs Charted by State and Salary
Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.