American Time Use Survey (ATUS), 2003-2010, Multi-Year Data (ICPSR 24943)

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United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics


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The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) collects information on how people living in the United States spend their time. This multi-year data set contains data on the amount of time that people spent doing various activities in the years 2003 through 2010, such as paid work, child care, religious activities, volunteering, and socializing. Part 1, the Respondent File, contains demographic information about respondents such as employment status, occupation, and income. Part 2, the Roster File, contains information about household members and non-household children under the age of 18. Information includes sex, relationship to designated respondent, and age. Part 3, the Activity File, includes additional information on activities in which respondents participated such as paid work and volunteer activities. The file also included the location of each activity and the total time spent on secondary child care. Part 4, the Who File, includes information on who was present during each activity. Part 5, the ATUS-CPS File, contains demographic and occupational data on respondents and members of their household collected during their participation in the Current Population Survey (CPS). Part 6, the Summary File, contains information about the total number of minutes each respondent spent doing each activity. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, ethnicity, marital status, education level, income, employment status, occupation, citizenship status, country of origin, labor union membership, and household composition.

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. American Time Use Survey (ATUS), 2003-2010, Multi-Year Data. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-06-17.

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United States

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2003 -- 2010
2003 -- 2010
  1. Multi-year files were not available for the Call History, Case History, Trips and Replicate Weights files. Please refer to the 2003-10 ATUS Data Dictionary for information about differences between the multi-year and single-year ATUS files.

  2. The activity code variables in Part 6 are preceded by the letter "T" and include a six-digit activity classification code. Since activity codes changed somewhat between 2003 and 2010, the multi-year data files use activity codes that appear in the 2003-10 ATUS Activity Lexicon.

  3. The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) was conducted by the United States Census Bureau.

  4. 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 Web site.


The purpose of the study is to evaluate how citizens divide their time among activities in their lives.

The ATUS sample was drawn from households that had completed their final month of interviews for the Current Population Survey (CPS). Households were selected to ensure that estimates could be made across major demographic groups. One individual from each selected household was chosen to participate in the ATUS, and this person was interviewed only once about his or her time use. Please refer to the User Guide for additional information on sampling.

All residents aged 15 and over who 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.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. American Time Use Survey (ATUS), 2003-2010, Multi-Year Data. ICPSR24943-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-06-17.

2014-06-17 Additional years were added to the update. The data was split into six parts and question texts were added to the codebook. The codebook was also merged into one pdf, distinguishing between the six varying parts.

2010-01-04 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 variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data contain weight variables that should be used in analyzing the data. Users need to apply weights when computing estimates with the ATUS data because simple tabulations of unweighted ATUS data produce misleading results. The multi-year ATUS-CPS, Respondent, and Summary files contain the ATUS statistical weighting variable TUFNWGTP generated using the 2006 ATUS statistical weighting method. Researchers wishing to generate standard errors for multi-year estimates should take care to use the single-year replicate weights generated using the 2006 ATUS weighting method. For more information please refer to the ATUS User Guide.