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American Time Use Survey, 2005 (ICPSR 4709)

Published: Dec 20, 2007

Principal Investigator(s):
United States. Bureau of Labor Statistics; United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census


Version V1

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) collects information on how people living in the United States spend their time. Data collected in this study measured the amount of time that people spent doing various activities in 2005, such as paid work, child care, religious activities, volunteering, and socializing. Respondents were randomly selected from households that had completed their final month of the Current Population Survey (CPS), and were interviewed two to five months after their household's last CPS interview. Respondents were interviewed only once and reported their activities for the 24-hour period from 4 a.m. on the day before the interview until 4 a.m. on the day of the interview. Respondents indicated the total number of minutes spent on each activity, including where they were and whom they were with. Except for secondary child care, data on activities done simultaneously with primary activities were not collected. Part 1, Respondent and Activity Summary File, contains demographic information about respondents and a summary of the total amount of time they spent doing each activity that day. Part 2, Roster File, contains information about household members and nonhousehold children under the age of 18. Part 3, Activity File, includes additional information on activities in which respondents participated, including the location of each activity and the total time spent on secondary child care. Part 4, Who File, includes data on who was present during each activity. Part 5, ATUS-CPS 2005 File, contains data on respondents and members of their household collected two to five months prior to the ATUS interviews during their participation in the Current Population Survey (CPS). Parts 6-10 contain supplemental data files that can be used for further analysis of the data. Part 6, Case History File, contains information about the interview process, such as identifiers and interview outcome codes. Part 7, Call History File, gives information about each call attempt, including the call date and outcome. Part 8, Trips File, provides information about the number, duration, and purpose of overnight trips away from home for two or more nights in a row. Part 9, Replicate Weights File I, contains base weights, replicated base weights, and replicate final weights for each case that was selected to be interviewed for ATUS, while Part 10, Replicate Weights File II, contains replicate weights that were generated using the 2006 weighting method. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, ethnicity, education level, income, employment status, occupation, citizenship status, country of origin, relationship to household members, and the ages and number of children in the household.

United States. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. American Time Use Survey, 2005. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-12-20.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research



(1) The data available for download are not weighted, and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis. (2) The files in Parts 6-10 have not been processed by ICPSR staff, and are being distributed in essentially the same form in which they were received. (3) The data file in Part 1 contains the linked Respondent and Activity Summary files. Information on how to link files, produce time-use estimates, and combine multiple years of data can be found in the User Guide and via the American Time Use Survey, 2005, Web site. (4) Variable and value labels were added in several variables. (5) The following variables were converted from character to numeric: TUCASEID, HRHHID, TEHRUSL1, TEHRUSL2, TUCC2, TUCC4, TEIO1ICD, TEIO1OCD, PEIO1ICD, PEIO1OCD, PEIO2ICD, and PEIO2OCD. (6) The CASEID variable was added to the data file in Part 1 for use with online analysis. (7) Some variables contain implied decimal places, as noted in their variable labels. (8) The activity code variables in Part 1 are preceded by the letter "T" and include a 6-digit activity classification code. Activity classification codes and examples of activities can be found in the ATUS Coding Lexicon. For more information about the ATUS Coding Lexicon, please refer to the User Guide. (9) The Trips file in Part 8 does not contain weights and should be used with caution. More information on the Trips file can be found in the documentation and via the American Time Use Survey, 2005, Web site. (10) Published tables and charts showing time-use estimates for major activity categories, selected detailed activities, and selected demographic characteristics are available via the American Time Use Survey, 2005, Web site.

This survey used a stratified, three-stage sampling design. Respondents were randomly selected from households that had completed their final month of the Current Population Survey (CPS). Please refer to the User Guide for additional information on sampling.

All residents at least 15 years of age that were living in households in the United States, with the exception of active military personnel and people residing in institutions such as nursing homes and prisons.


survey data

The overall response rate was 56.6 percent.



2007-12-20 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.

The data contain weight variables which should be used in analyzing the data. Unweighted data are not representative of the population due to differences between population groups in both sampling and nonresponse. ATUS weight variables include the ATUS final weight (TUFINLWGT), which indicates the number of person-days the respondent represents, the ATUS base weight (TUBWGT), and a ATUS final weight based on 2006 weighting methodology (TU06FWGT). ATUS weights were selected from the Current Population Survey (CPS), and CPS weights (after the first-stage adjustment) are the basis for the ATUS weights. These base weights were adjusted to account for the fact that less populous states were not oversampled in ATUS, as they were in the CPS. Further adjustments were made to account for the probability of selecting each household within the ATUS sampling strata and the probability of selecting each person from each sample household. Part 9 contains replicate weights for the variable TUFINLWGT, as well as base weights, while Part 10 contains replicate weights for the variable TU06FWGT. ATUS replicate weights were based on the replicate weights developed for the CPS. ATUS began with the CPS replicate weight after the first-stage ratio adjustment, and each replicate was processed through all of the stages of the ATUS weighting procedure. The CPS replicate weights were based on a modified balanced half-sample method of replication, developed in the 1980s by Robert Fay. For more information about the replicate weights, see the publication, Technical Paper 63RV: Current Population Survey -- Design and Methodology, available via the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site. More information on the weighting variables used in this study can be found in the User Guide.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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