How Americans Spend Their Days [Infographic]

Americans spend time daysWe Americans are a busy bunch. We shop. We worship. We tend to our families. But mostly we eat, sleep, work and watch TV. That's the key finding from a University of California researcher who's made it his mission to help average people visualize complex sets of data.

Nathan Yao, who's published his findings in an interactive chart (shown below) at his website,, says he was inspired to build his graphic by a New York Times article. It looked at an American Time Use Survey on how Americans fill their days.

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Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the survey measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, child care, volunteering and socializing.

The government gathers the data from thousands of participants who track all that they do in a day and then provide the details in telephone interviews.

Yau, a doctoral candidate at UCLA, says that his design allows readers to more easily discern, for example, the different ways in which men and women spend their time.

Because "the change is animated, it's easier to spot," Yau notes in a blog post, which also provides a brief overview of his process for constructing his chart.

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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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