Published: 17 February 2011

People's free time has increased in Finland

The basic characteristics of people's time use in Finland have remained quite unchanged over three decades. The clearest change is that the time spent on gainful employment has decreased due to the economic downturn. At the same time free time has increased. This is indicated by preliminary data concerning the autumn from Statistics Finland's 2009 Time Use Survey.

Time use of population aged 10 to 64 in the autumn 1979–2009

Time use of population aged 10 to 64 in the autumn 1979–2009

Women spend quarter-of-an-hour less on domestic work than in 1979. The time men use for domestic work has gone up by good twenty minutes. Women spend less time especially on housekeeping, such as food preparation and laundering. By contrast, time used for housekeeping has increased among men. Opposite development can be seen in maintenance work, on which men spend slightly less and women more time than at the end of the 1970s and 1980s.

Computer use has grown clearly more widespread during the past decade. The computer and the Internet account for 45 minutes of free time today, whereas in 1999 the respective time was 11 minutes. These figures are inclusive of time spent on playing console games. Although differences by age and gender have evened out in computer use during the decade, they are still large. In the 2000s, the computer has overtaken the television as the most popular piece of equipment among young men for spending free time.

Source: Time Use Survey 2009, Statistics Finland

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Tables in databases

Updated 17.2.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Time use [e-publication].
Changes 1979 - 2009 2009. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.1.2020].
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