Special Report

What Americans Do When Not at Work

8. Organizational, Civic and Religious Activities
> Average time spent: 0.32 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 13.8%

Americans spent an average of 19.2 minutes participating in organizational, civic and religious activities on a given day. However, only 13.8% of people engaged in these activities on an average day, and those people spent an average of two hours and 20 minutes participating. This is despite the fact that 79% of Americans are affiliated with a religious group of some sort, according to Pew Research Centers. In addition, the BLS noted that 26.5% of people engaged in volunteering activities between September 2011 and September 2012.

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7. Educational Activities
> Average time spent: 0.5 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 8.5%

Younger people accounted for the vast majority of time devoted to educational activities. The average person between 15 and 24 spent far more time than anyone else on these activities, with the majority of that time spent during the weekday. Those taking part on any given day spent an average of five hours and 52 minutes doing so. People who actually attended class spent five hours and 10 minutes there, while people who reported doing research and homework spent on average two hours and 45 minutes on their tasks.

6. Caring For and Helping Household Members
> Average time spent: 0.51 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 24.5%

More than 80% of the time Americans spent helping members of the household involved taking care of children. Those who cared for children — more than 20% of the adult population — spent an average of almost two hours performing that task. Nearly 25% of women cared for children during an average day, compared to just 15.6% of men. In addition, the women who engaged in this activity spent more time — two hours and eight minutes — on it than men, who spent one hour and 43 minutes caring for children.

5. Purchasing Goods and Services
> Average time spent: 0.72 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 41.4%

The average American spent more than 43 minutes buying goods and services, with women spending considerably more time than men on this activity. The time spent purchasing goods and services actually has fallen from 48.6 minutes back in 2003. This could decrease further with the rise in e-commerce, which will reduce visits to brick-and-mortar stores. E-commerce sales alone are expected to rise 13% in 2013 to $262 billion. By 2017, e-commerce is expected to generate $370 billion in sales, or 10% of all retail purchases, up from 8% currently.