There have been several visualizations created over the past couple of years showing how people spend their days. I’ve used them in lessons where students have created infographics indicating how they spend their time, and then they compare their results with the interactives.

Here are my choices for The Best Visualizations Of How People Spend Their Days:

How We Spend Our Time Now, in Three (Really Big) Graphs is from The Atlantic.

What Americans Actually Do All Day Long, In 2 Graphics is the newest one, just published at NPR.

In 2012, The Wall Street Journal has published a very accessible infographic titled At Work And At Play. It shows, by ethnicity, how Americans spend their work and leisure time. The data comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The New York Times  published a fascinating infographic titled How Different Groups Spend Their Day in 2009.  Here’s how they describe it: “The American Time Use Survey asks thousands of American residents to recall every minute of a day. Here is how people over age 15 spent their time in 2008.” It actually shows what people did  every hour of everyday — sleeping, watching TV, eating, etc.  And the numbers are divided by ethnicity, age, education-background and more.  I could easily see having my students first do a similar analysis of their days and then comparing it to this infographic.  This one seems to have a different source of data than the Wall Street Journal visualizations use.


Here’s one on how they spend their money.

New data has just been released for 2014 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and both Five Thirty Eight and The Wall Street Journal have reports on it, as well as new visualizations of what the numbers say.

This chart shows how Americans spend every single minute in the average day is from The Washington Post.

Flowing Data has just developed three new visualizations of the most recent data, all of which are pretty neat. Instead of describing the details of how they’re different, I’ll just list their titles with live links. They’re all worth a visit:

Most Common Use of Time, By Age and Sex

Counting The Hours.

A Day In The Life of Americans

Flowing Data has created a neat interactive that lets you see how different demographic groups in the United States spend a typical day. It uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2015.

Interesting Charts Showing Who We Spend Our Time With At Different Ages

How Different Income Groups Spend Money is from Flowing Data.

A Day in the Life: Women and Men is a neat interactive from Flowing Data. Here’s how he describes it:

Using the past couple of years of data from the American Time Use Survey, I simulated a working day for men and women to see how schedules differ.

The way U.S. teens spend their time is changing, but differences between boys and girls persist is a report from the Pew Research Center. It includes several charts and infographics, including one titled “A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Teen.” Their top three are sleep, leisure and education.

Charting how the time parents spend with kids changes as they grow up is from Quartz.

This is how Americans spend time differently across the year is from Quartz.



Who do we spend time with across our lifetime? is from Our World In Data.

Chart: A Global Look at How People Spend Their Time is from Visual Capitalist.

Most Common Daily Routines is from The 2020 American Time Use Survey.

The Pandemic Changed How We Spent Our Time is from The NY Times.

What People Spend Most of Their Money On, By Income Group, Relatively Speaking is from Flowing Data (not the same, obviously, but related).

How we Spent Our Time at Home is from Cool Infographics.

Who We Spend Time with as We Get Older is from Flowing Data.

How Much Time We Spend Alone and With Others is from Flowing Data.

Infographic: “Who Americans Spend Their Time With”

How do children spend their time? Time use and skill development in the PSID is from the Federal Reserve System, but it’s from 2020.

Where We Find Meaning in the Everyday is from Flowing Data.

How we spent our days from 2019 through 2022. is from Flowing Data.

How Humans Around The World Spend Their Days is from Scientific American.

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