Once a very popular American pastime, it has begun to dwindle. Less and less people are watching baseball on TV. Only 14 percent of Americans consider baseball as their favorite sport.
With nearly 80 percent of the population watching TV on a given day, and accounting for more than half of all the time Americans spend in leisure and sports, watching TV is the choice leisure activity for many Americans.
The ATUS is a Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS survey that collects information about how people spend their time, along with individual and household characteristics useful in understanding how people use their time.
Using this information, BLS produces estimates of average time use for the civilian noninstitutional population ages 15 and older and various subpopulations. It explores the richness of the data set by presenting statistics on when, where, and with whom Americans watch TV.
In the —17 period, the U. This amounted to more than half This includes the time they spent watching live programming, viewing DVDs, and streaming shows on their TV sets, computers, and portable devices.
It does not include time spent viewing movies at a theater. There was some variation within the population in the time people watched TV, as shown in chart 1.
Older people and people who were not employed spent the most time watching TV. Those ages 55 to 64 averaged 3 hours 14 minutes of TV time per day, and those ages 65 and older averaged an hour more 4 hours 14 minutes per day.
People who were not employed, which includes people of all ages who did not work for pay, watched TV for an average of 3 hours 49 minutes per day. The majority Parents of young children clocked the least TV time per day. With Parents with a child under age 6 averaged 1 hour 50 minutes per day of TV time.
Those whose youngest child was between the ages of 6 and 17 averaged about one-quarter hour more TV time per day 2 hours 7 minutes.
On weekend days, employed people are less likely to work and students are less likely to attend class. This allows people to do other things—like watch TV. People watched TV about 45 minutes more per day on weekends than on weekdays.
On average, they watched TV for 3 hours 19 minutes per weekend day and 2 hours 32 minutes per weekday. Overall, men spent more time watching TV than women did.
Men averaged about 3 hours per day watching TV, and women averaged 2 hours 34 minutes per day. This may seem surprising considering that men are more likely than women to be employed, and men represented just 45 percent of the population ages 65 and older.
A closer examination of how men and women spent their time over the —17 period shows that men averaged more time per day working for pay than women did, but women averaged more time doing unpaid household work, such as household chores, providing care and help to others, and shopping.
On net, the time men and women spent doing these paid and unpaid work activities was about equal. Chart 1. Hours per day spent watching TV, average for the —17 period Characteristic.