How Americans spend their day

This is data from the 2015 Time Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The data show the activities undertaken by the 11,592 Americans who took part in the survey. The BLS designates 18 categories of activities, but the categories are not well matched to the distribution of the data (many, like Government Services & Civic Obligations take up less than 0.1% of the average American’s time). For this chart I’ve grouped categories together to show the 8 main classes of activities that Americans partake in.

One important note on the data is the significant change in the number of people sleeping between 3:30am and 4am. The respondents in this survey were asked to record their activities from 4am one day to 4am the next. It appears that far more respondents were asleep when the survey began than when it ended. I’m not sure why that was, but if anyone has an explanation I’d be very interested.

One Reply to “How Americans spend their day”

  1. Could the jump at 4am in sleeping be due to double counting somehow? Maybe people thought 4am one day – 4am next day meant they recorded data at 4am first day and also again at 4am (4am onwards) next day. Instead they should be recording at 4am (onwards) first day and stop at 4am (stop at 4am sharp) next day.

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