News 8 Sep 2020

On what are we using our time? – Statistics Finland is collecting new data on Finnish people’s time use 

Statistics Finland is conducting an extensive survey of one year on time use among the population in Finland. The survey examines all that people are using their time on: domestic work, studying, modes of travel, screen time and leisure activities.

“The previous survey data were collected 10 years ago, after which time use has changed dramatically. For example, social media and mobile Internet use have become part of everyday life,” says Statistics Finland's Senior Statistician Juha Haaramo.

Statistics Finland’s population database was employed to select to the survey at random nearly 9,000 households, whose members form a sample representing the population aged at least 10 in the whole country. The data collection for the survey starts in September and initial results will be available in autumn 2022.

This new survey can show how time use has changed in Finland: have people’s working hours changed, how much time is spent on commuting, do people sleep less, has their daily rhythm changed, what impact social media or the exceptional corona time has had on time use.

“The strengths of the survey are, on the one hand, the continuity of its time series – Time Use Surveys have been carried out for around 40 years – but, on the other hand, keeping up constantly with new things,” says Haaramo.

According to the previous Time Use Surveys, the rhythm of people’s life in Finland has been shifting to later and later. Time spent alone has grown and time spent together with one's family has decreased. More and more people spend increasingly more time at the computer or TV screen. 

Survey results are utilised in planning services

The Time Use Survey is conducted much in the same way in around 20 European countries so the obtained results are internationally comparable. The results from the Time Use Survey are utilised by researchers, and by political and economic decision-makers. The data are exploited in the planning of transport, social and leisure services, for example. Data on time use are also needed in calculating the economic value of the unpaid work done in households. 

The cooperation partners of the survey include the Central Union for Child Welfare, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Turku Center for Welfare Research, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, and the Ministry of the Environment.

Watch the video on the Time Use Survey on the YouTube service

Further information: Senior Statistician Juha Haaramo +358 29 551 3666, Researcher Riitta Hanifi +358 29 551 2946
Time Use Survey