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How do people spend their time? This chart takes a global look


A global look at how people spend their time

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but we don’t spend them the same way. Some prioritize family time or household chores, while others cherish a good night’s sleep or seeing friends.


This chart from Our World in Data compares the average time allocated across various day-to-day activities, from paid work to leisurely activities.


The data for the 33 countries profiled come from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Time Use database, for ages 15 through 64 years old.


Countries with the highest time spent per activity

As the chart shows, basic patterns—work, rest, and play—emerge across the board.

When it comes to paid work, Japan emerges the highest on this list with approximately 5.5 hours per day. However, this country also has some of the highest overtime in a workweek. In contrast, European countries such as France and Spain report nearly half the same hours (less than 3 hours) of paid work per day on average.


Certain trends, however, transcend cultural boundaries. Those in Mexico find themselves spending significant portions of the day (3 hours or more) on housework, as do those in Portugal.

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