How We Spend Our Time

A fascinating new blog from Esteban Ortiz-Ospin, theSenior Researcher and Head of Operations at Our World In Data lays out how people across the globe spend their time.

We spend our lives in leisure, at work, eating, sleeping and engaged in a sorts of activities. Looking at how the ratio of leisure to work and sleep changes across the globe is vey interesting.

As we can see most people spend their days working and sleeping but in general, the wealthier a country, the less time they spend working. Though there are some societal exceptions.

However in spite of the differences in nationalities, there are consistent divisions of labor by gender. As Ortiz-Ospin explains, “In all countries the average leisure time for men is higher than for women – all bubbles are below the diagonal line – but in some countries the gaps are much larger. In Norway the difference is very small, while in Portugal men report almost 50% more leisure time than women.”

In the end the data clearly shows that regardless of where a person lives, they prize their leisure time. People work becasue they have to, some quite enjoy it, but by and large we all like to do what we like to do.

Ortiz-Ospin sums it up best, “The fact that there is a very clear and predictable pattern in the enjoyment of activities suggests that differences in time use do, indeed, give us meaningful perspectives on living conditions and economic opportunities. In countries where people do more paid and unpaid work, and have less time for leisure, their enjoyment – and happiness and life satisfaction – levels are likely to be lower.”