Reading to Children (Time Use Stats)

Reading to Children (Time Use Stats)

Reading time has been facing a decline for several years, across every demographic category. At the same time, time spent watching tv or playing video games increased significantly compared to reading time, especially for the younger generations.

We decided to investigate how much time adults spend reading to, or with, their kids, and how this activity changed over the years.

Time spent reading to children by year

  • The average parent spends 26.4 minutes per day reading to children, or with children.
  • The is the least time parents spent reading to kids at over the last 11 years.
  • Parents are spending 4.3% less time reading to kids compared to 2018, and 15.4% less compared to 2017.
  • Among all childcare activities, reading to children recorded the lowest time investment.

Time spent reading to kids by gender

  • Men spend around 24 minutes per day reading to their kids, which is a 15% drop from 2018.
  • This is the lowest amoun of time spent on this acivity for men over the last 11 years.
  • Women spend 27 minutes per day reading to children, 12.5% more than men.
  • This is the second-largest difference in time spent reading to kids between men and women, after 17.4% in 2017.
  • Women spent more time reading to kids than mem in 8 out of the last 11 years.
  • The last time men read more to kids than women was in 2018, and before that in 2009 and 2010.

Reading to kids during the pandemic

As the average time spent in household activities increased during the 2020 pandemic outbreak, so did the time spent reading to, or with kids.

  • From May to December 2020, parents spent 34.2 minutes per day reading to their kids.
  • This is a 29.5% increase compared to 2019, and the largest amount of time parents spent on this activity at laest since 2009.
  • It is the largest annual increase in this activity over the last 12 years.
  • It was also only the 4th time over the last 12 year that people spent over 30 minutes per day reading to children.
  • Men spent more time reading to kids than women during pandemic, 1.2 more minutes per day on average.
  • Men increased their time spent reading to children by 47.5% during pandemic, from 24 minutes in 2019 to 35.4 minutes during 2020 (May to December).
  • Women also increased their time spent reading to kids, from 27 minutes to 34.2 minutes during the same period.
  • This is a 26.7% annualt increase, and the most time women spent on this activity over the last 12 years.
  • It is also the first time that both men and women spent over 30 minutes per day reading to their children.

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