1300.1.55.001 - Statistics News NSW, Mar 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/03/2008   
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2006 Time Use Survey

  • How do Australians actually share time between paid work, family time and other aspects of life?
  • Are we still spending time on sport, exercise and outdoor activity? Or do more sedentary leisure activities claim our free time?
  • How does having children affect the way men and women lead their lives?
  • With more women now employed, are market services replacing unpaid work in the home?
  • How much unpaid work is being done in the household and community? Who is doing it?
  • What are young people doing with their time? And people in the later years of life?
  • Is there really a breakdown in social connectedness?

Time spent on domestic activities by age
Graph: Time spent on domestic activities by age

Time spent on recreation and leisure by age

Graph: Time spent on recreation and leisure by age

Recently the ABS released the results of the latest Time Use Survey, in the publication How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0). This is the third national Time Use Survey, creating opportunities for analysts to track changes in many aspects of Australian society.

Activity diaries completed for two selected days were collected from 6,961 persons aged 15 years and over in 3,643 private dwellings, making it possible to examine the activity patterns and characteristics of household members. Along with standard demographic and socio-economic characteristics, the survey interview identified different population groups, including:
  • overseas-born and second generation Australians
  • people with a disability, carers
  • grandparents of children under 15 years (living with them or not)
  • employment type and current study.

Information is available on various types of household equipment (including information and communication technology) that may affect household work, leisure time, the ability to get to places, and buying services. The type and size of homes also shape the amount of work needed to maintain them, and whether a body corporate carries out some maintenance. Other perspectives on people's ways of life are provided by personal information on time stress, satisfaction with the way time was spent, level of social interaction, self-assessed health, trust in people, and an exploration of attitudes to gardening.

This publication is available for free download from the ABS website. For those wanting the opportunity to undertake more intensive analysis of the Time Use Survey, confidentialised unit record files (CURFs) are available. A basic CURF on CD-ROM or through the on-line Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL), and an expanded CURF through RADL, are available for $1,320 each. Purchase of all formats at the same time attracts a discount combined price of $1,980.

For further information on How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0), Time Use Survey: User Guide, Australia, 2006(cat. no. 4150.0), and associated CURFs contact Elisabeth Davis on (02) 6252 7880 or email client.services@abs.gov.au.