46 percent of men did food preparation or cleanup on average day in 2017, up from 35 percent in 2003

July 06, 2018

From 2003 to 2017, on an average day, the share of men doing food preparation and cleanup increased from 35 percent to 46 percent. Over the same period, the share for women also increased, from 66 percent in 2003 to 69 percent in 2017.

Percentage of the civilian population engaged in primary activities, averages per day by sex, 2003 and 2017 annual averages
Activity 2003 2017
Total Men Women Total Men Women

Housework

37.5% 19.4% 54.4% 34.4% 18.6% 49.3%

Food preparation and cleanup

50.8 34.7 65.9 57.6 45.7 68.9

Lawn and garden care

10.2 11.7 8.7 9.7 11.4 8.0

Household management

15.6 12.9 18.1 18.7 15.7 21.6

Consumer goods purchases

41.5 37.6 45.1 40.2 35.5 44.6

Purchasing professional and personal care services

9.4 7.2 11.5 7.3 5.6 8.8

Caring for and helping household children under 18

22.0 16.1 27.5 20.1 15.6 24.3

Caring for and helping nonhousehold adults

10.5 10.0 11.0 7.2 6.3 8.1

Working

44.1 51.3 37.3 42.0 48.3 36.1

Attending class

5.6 5.2 5.9 5.2 5.5 4.9

Religious and spiritual activities

8.1 6.4 9.6 9.3 6.8 11.7

Volunteering (organizational and civic activities)

6.4 5.5 7.2 6.1 4.5 7.6

Socializing and communicating

40.2 36.1 44.1 35.7 33.3 37.9

Watching TV

78.8 80.1 77.5 77.7 78.7 76.7

Participating in sports, exercise, and recreation

17.3 18.9 15.7 19.0 20.2 17.8

Telephone calls, mail, and e-mail

25.6 19.6 31.2 19.7 15.1 24.0

In 2017, on an average day, 19 percent of men did housework such as cleaning or laundry. The same percentage of men did housework in 2003. In 2017, forty-nine percent of women did housework. This compared with 54 percent of women in 2003. In 2017, men (11 percent) were slightly more likely to engage in lawn and garden care than were women (8 percent).

From 2003 to 2017, the share of men and women engaged in telephone calls, mail, and e-mail decreased, from 20 percent to 15 percent for men and from 31 percent to 24 percent for women.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. Time use data begin in 2003. For more information, see "American Time Use Survey — 2017 Results." We also have more charts on how Americans spend their time.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 46 percent of men did food preparation or cleanup on average day in 2017, up from 35 percent in 2003 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/46-percent-of-men-did-food-preparation-or-cleanup-on-average-day-in-2017-up-from-35-percent-in-2003.htm (visited September 21, 2018).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics