How much time the average American spends on chores

Written by: Beth Mowbray

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How much time the average American spends on chores

Household chores are a necessary—albeit dreaded by many—part of daily life. It seems there is a never-ending to-do list involved with maintaining a home and keeping it running smoothly. Tasks like taking care of children and pets, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry must be done, no matter how busy or tired one may be.

There are benefits to performing these tasks, though. According to a study published in Neurology in July 2022, completing household chores may lower the risk of dementia. Research has shown that a clean and well-organized home can positively affect a person's mental health. Many people also feel an internal sense of accomplishment upon completing tasks and checking them off a list.

But just how much time do these household tasks consume? Home warranty company American Home Shield reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2021 American Time Use Survey to see how much time the average American spends on everyday chores.

The annual American Time Use Survey measured the average amount of time per day that people over age 15 worked, completed household tasks, and participated in sports and leisure activities. Times were rounded to the nearest minute. It is also important to note that many chores are not done daily, and some, like child care, are only performed by a subset of the population.

The survey found that the majority of people—86% of women and 71% of men—spent time completing household chores daily. On average, people did more housework on the weekends than on weekdays. The only task more people reported doing on weekdays was food preparation and cleanup.

Results also showed that women are more likely to complete household chores—and spend more time on them—than men. On an average chore day, women spent two hours and 42 minutes on household tasks, while men spent two hours and 12 minutes.

Keep reading to learn the average amount of time per day Americans reported spending on 12 common household chores.

Rank Chore Average hours per day Average minutes per day
12 Caring for animals and pets 0.77 46
11 Household management 0.79 47
10 Grocery shopping 0.80 48
9 Helping children with homework 0.95 57
8 Telephone calls, mail, and e-mail 1.01 61
7 Food preparation and cleanup 1.04 62
6 Laundry 1.12 67
5 Interior cleaning 1.48 89
4 Exterior maintenance, repair, and decoration 1.98 119
3 Lawn and garden care 2.02 121
2 Childcare 2.08 125
1 Interior maintenance, repair, and decoration 2.27 136

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#12. Caring for animals and pets

Average minutes: 46

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#11. Household management

Average minutes: 47

women shopping

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#10. Grocery shopping

Average minutes: 48

father helps son with homework

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#9. Helping children with homework

Average minutes: 57

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#8. Responding to or making telephone calls, mail, and email

Average minutes: 61

women cooking

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#7. Food preparation and cleanup

Average minutes: 62

man doing laundry

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#6. Laundry

Average minutes: 67

cleaning

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#5. Interior cleaning

Average minutes: 89

cleaning gutters

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#4. Exterior maintenance, repair, and decoration

Average minutes: 119

yard work

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#3. Lawn and garden care

Average minutes: 121

child care

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#2. Child care

Average minutes: 125

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#1. Interior maintenance, repair, and decoration

Average minutes: 136

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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