New publication: Time Use in Scotland 2023 – analysis by sex

November 8, 2023 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

Last week, the Scottish Government’s Equality Analysis team were pleased to publish Time use in Scotland 2023 – analysis by sex. In this blog we’d like to tell you about the publication and some of the key findings.

The Online Time Use Survey (OTUS) is a UK-wide survey commissioned by ONS and gathered by NatCen Social Research. The Scottish Government funded a sample boost in Scotland. Data collection was carried out in March 2023. The final sample was made up of 453 women and 399 men.

The publication outlines differences between women and men in how they spent their time in 2023 across several key activities. These were: time spent on paid work, unpaid work (including activities such as childcare and housework), free time and personal care. The report builds on a recent Scottish Government publication released in September of this year, which presented OTUS data collected during the COVID-19 lockdown of March 2020.

The main findings from the 2023 OTUS are similar to those of our earlier report on time use in 2020. Women spent more time doing unpaid work than men, particularly on housework and cooking. This was especially true for women with children. Unlike the key findings from 2020, this report did not find that women and men differed significantly on time spent on paid work. In 2020, men were found to spend significantly longer on paid work than women. While it is not possible to determine causation from this data, it is possible that the difference in findings is due to changing behaviour during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. Future data will help to establish if the 2023 data is more in line with usual patterns of time use.

The analysis also showed that men spent longer than women on other leisure activities. These included playing online games, listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks, streaming video content or watching TV, and others. When we split the sample based on whether respondents had children or not, men without children spent the most time on free time activities. Women with children spent the least time on free time activities of all groups. On the other hand, men with children spent longer in paid work compared to men or women without children.

The full report can be accessed on the Time Use in Scotland webpage.

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