Infographics: How do Americans spend their time? See how you compare

Don't look now, but the government is continuously peeking in on how we spend our time. The ongoing American Time Use Survey, conducted by the Census Bureau, looks at how we divvy up our time "among life's activities."

Data journalist Chris Walker, the man behind the online magazine Datawovn, took the most recent available stats and lined them up for a revealing side-by-side comparison of how different age groups spend their time. Scroll through for a look at what he found.


There were some things you might expect, such as a spike among the college-age crowd in late-evening computer use.

A few categories revealed very little difference, such as our eating and drinking habits.

But Walker told the L.A. Times by email that what he was trying to get at were our differences. Here's what he had to say:

"With these graphics I was trying to show the diversity in our experiences on an average day and how our daily routines are significantly influenced by our age.

"I also wanted readers to think about whether differences are explained by aging per se (e.g., you watch more TV as you get older) or generational membership (e.g., baby boomers watch more TV than millennials).

"People should really think about what it means for 30% to 40% of the country to be in front of the TV at 9 p.m. Only two activities show more regularity across all age groups: eating and sleeping."

"I was surprised by the 'Caring for children' category, which shows 25-to-34-year-olds to spend the largest portion of their time on child care. I'm 29 and don't have kids, so I guess I'm not representative," Walker said.

"It was really interesting to see time spent with pets go up for the 60-plus group," Walker said.

"Most of all I was surprised by the amount of relaxing/thinking/idle time for the 60-plus group," Walker said. "This might sound appealing to some, but to me it sounds worrisome because maybe it's because this group has a harder time finding meaningful activities and a strong community."

As Walker pointed out, that one is open for interpretation. For this reader, the graphic that makes it all worthwhile is below.

Read a book for pleasure before you're 60, and follow me at @AmyTheHub