Demographic Research

Time-use data

Pew Research Center increasingly has employed the American Time Use Survey in its reports. Launched in 2003 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the ATUS employs a nationally representative sample of Americans ages 15 and older drawn from the Current Population Survey. Our analysis often makes use of pooled data for multiple years in order to have enough sample size to analyze different subgroups.

Interviews are conducted by telephone. Respondents complete a 15- to 20-minute survey in which they are asked to recall how they spent their time during the 24-hour period on the day before the interview. Activities are coded into 17 major time-use categories, with additional subcategories. For example, the first category is personal care, under which one activity is sleeping. More than 148,000 interviews have been conducted since 2003.