Daily time use among women with household children in 2012

March 07, 2014

March is Women's History Month and this year's theme celebrates women of courage, character, and commitment. How much time do women commit each day to primary activities? Time use among women varies with the presence and age of children in the household. In 2012, women with their youngest household child ages 6 to 17 spent the most time per day on working and work-related activities (3.4 hours) compared to women with children under the age of 6 and women with no household children under the age of 18 (3.0 hours each, respectively).

Time spent by women in primary activities, civilian population 18 years and over, by age of youngest household child, 2012 annual averages
ActivityAverage hours per day spent in primary activities
Youngest household child under age 6Youngest household child ages 6-17No household children under age 18

Personal care activities


Leisure and sports


Working and work-related activities


Household activities


Eating and drinking

Caring for and helping household members


Purchasing goods and services


Organizational, civic, and religious activities


Educational activities


Other activities, not elsewhere classified

Caring for and helping nonhousehold members

Telephone calls, mail, and email

Regardless of the presence or age of a child in the house, women spent about the same amount of time on personal care activities each day, between 9.6 and 9.7 hours. On average, women with no household children under the age of 18 spent the most time on leisure and sports (5.6 hours per day). Women with household children under 6 years old spent almost 2 hours less on leisure and sports (3.7 hours per day). Time spent on leisure and sports includes socializing and communicating, watching television, and sports participation.

Women with the youngest household child under the age of 6 spent an average of 2.5 hours per day caring for and helping household members. This was about 1.5 hours more per day than women with children ages 6 to 17.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see "American Time Use Survey — 2012 Results" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL‑13‑1178. Note that a primary activity refers to an individual's main activity. Other activities done simultaneously are not included.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Daily time use among women with household children in 2012 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140307.htm (visited October 01, 2016).


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