Time use survey

Updated: 18 January 2012

Next update: Not yet determined

Time spent on different activities an average day, among all, by sex (hours and minutes)
Time spent on different activities an average day, among all, by sex (hours and minutes)1
Income-producing work, travel to/from work etc. in total5.294.304.101.562.483.01
Household work, total2.132.363.005.554.223.50
¬ House work0.380.460.594.142.181.49
¬ Maintenance0.410.360.380.130.160.20
¬ Family care0.170.300.310.420.590.42
Education, total0.
Personal needs, total10.199.589.5910.3610.1010.24
¬ Night sleep7.437.457.517.557.568.00
¬ Meals1.
Leisure time, total5.
¬ Sports and outdoor activities0.320.370.340.250.250.29
¬ Entertainment and culture0.
¬ Socializing1.311.491.111.542.091.27
¬ Reading0.470.400.280.360.380.35
¬ Television viewing1.101.362.010.531.141.41
1Note that the numbers are given in hours and minutes. 0.50 means 50 minutes, not half an hour (30 minutes). 2.30 is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The time use survey measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, housework, childcare, volunteering and leisure activities. It also provides insight into our daily rhythm and how we socialize.


Travels were coded by the aim of the travel. The aim was usually regarded as the activity at the end of the travel (for instance travel to work). If the travel ended at home, the aim was the activity done immediately before the travel. If the travel was done in connection with more activities, the most important activity was regarded at the aim of the travel.


Periods when receiving visits or visiting, are coded as visit activities. Long visits and visits with overnight staying is not regarded as particular activities. shorter visits are coded as particlar activities exept when the interview person did household work or concrete leisure activities as watching TV, reading newspapers etc. Conversations and coffiedrinking are regarded as naturlal parts of the visit and are coded as visits.


Waiting is regarded as a part of the activity the interviewperson is waiting for. Waiting for the bus is regarded as a part of the bus travel.

Overtime work in main job

The interviewpersons were asked to divide between work in ordinary working hours and overtime work. Work taken to ones own home, is usually regarded as overtime work both for employed and self-employed, except for teachers. For teachers work was only coded at overtime work if they worked 8 hours or mor on the diray day.

Time spent at working place before an after working hours, other pauses

Private errands done within the working hours are not regarded as pauses, but are coded by the type of activity (buying dailies, visiting public office etc.)

Care and help to children

Particular activities connected to care and help to children below 16 years in ones own household are counted in. Care that is done at the same time as other activities, for instance care of sleeping child, is noe registered as main activity. In some instances the interview person has written childcare as secondary activity.

Other care for children

Other care for children are activities that one does for the sake of children and not for ones own sake, as for instance visiting doctor with child, meeting with the children's teacher and watching children's TV programs together with children.

Care of adults

Care of householdsmembers who are 16 years or older are counted in here. As care or help both help to old persons or sick and personal help to healthy adults are included. Examples are following, fetching, waking up etc.

Help to other households

Help to other households includes voluntary work and all types of unpaid work for other households like housework, errands, childcare, care of sick people etc.


This includes ordinary meals like breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper, but no meals connected to restaurant visits, work and parties.

Registration of socializing

For each time interval there was a registration of what persons who were present and that the interviewperson had a certain contact with. Sosialisation does not imply sharing the same activity. For periods with sleep The interview person is regarded as alone, even if ther are other persons nearby.

Socializing with children

Only socializing with children living in the household of the interviewperson is registered. Socializing with own children living outside the household is registered as socializin with other persons.


When coding the diaries the coders marked localisation for each time interval. The interviewpersons themselves wrote down means of transport when they had been on a travel. Localisation was marked for all activities except travels. I was devided between sthe six following localisations: Home in own dwelling, in own site, at workplace, private visit, at cottage/country place and other places. (shops, restaurants, streets, beaches, forrests etc.). For all travels that was transport from one place to another, means of transport was marked.

Measures for time use

In the reports from the time use surveys three measures are used: The first is time use among all. It shows the average time spent on an activity in the whole population or a group of the population, for instance women. Included in this measure are those who have spent time on an activity and those those who have not, who accordingly have spent 0 minutes on this activity. The next measure is the percentage having spent time on the activity. This measure shows how large the persentage is that have spent time on an activity on an average day. The last measure is time use among those who have spent time on the activity.

The data for the time use surveys are collected for all days of the week through a whole year. Those who join the survey fill in a diray for two consecutive days. The respondents are evenly spread through the year. The numbers that are presented are averages for all days of the week, both week days and weekend days. Holidays are also included.

Not relevant

Name: Time use survey
Topic: Culture and recreation

Not yet determined

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

Representative for the whole country. Data for regions of the country and place of residence

Every tenth year

When a large number of countries in Europe conducted time use surveys in the period round 2000, there was, under the direction Eurostat, made a database where more than 20 countries entered their time use data. This database was accessible for reseachers. The plan is that there also will be established a similar database for the 2010 surveys.

Not relevant

The aim is ot collect data about the population to survey how much time is used to different activities, who we are togehter with and were we use our time. The first survey was conducted in 1971, then in 1980, 1990, 2000 and now in 2010. There were made some changes in the categorisation in 1980, so that comparisations between 1971 and later surveys only can be made on a limited level.

The most important external users have been the ministries, first of all the Ministry of children, equality and social inclusion and the Ministry of labour. It has also been used among external researchers.

The survey particularly been used to show the development between men and women. The survey has a wide rage of other areas of application.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08:00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Not relevant


Not relevant

In 2000- og 2010-surveys the sample of the population was representative of the Norwegian population at the age of 9-79 years. The surveys in 1971 og 1980 the age group was 16-74 år and in 1990 it was 16-79 years. Every person joining the survey fills in a diary for two days.

The time use survey is an independent survey. Data from the data register and immigration register are connected to the files.

The surveys are based on interviews and diary keeping among a representative sample of the population. In 2010 the gross sample was about 8 500 persons. After non-response about 4 000 persons joined the survey. When every person fill in data for two days, the person/day sample is about 8 000.

Personal face to face interview or telephone interview with CAPI/CATI, and diaries that the respondents fill in on their own.

In the diaries the respondents fill in what main an secondary activities they do within ten minutes intervalls during two days. The als fill in who they are together with during every intervall. In the diaries where the respondents are for every intervall is registered, and what kind of means of transportation is used within the intervalls when the respondents are on travel.

The interview registers mainly background information as a help to analyse the diaries.

In 2010 the interview lasted for about 20 minutes, pluss filling in the diaries, about 45 minutes. All together approximately 1 hour. In total approximately 4 000 hours, or 500 workdays.

Not relevant
Not relevant

See point 2.1