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Overview of the time use of Canadians 2005

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Overview of the time use of Canadians 2005


This report presents a brief overview of the time use information collected in Cycle 19 of the General Social Survey (GSS). The General Social Survey has two principal objectives: first to gather data on social trends in order to monitor changes in Canadian Society over time, and second, to provide information on specific social issues of current or emerging interest. The core content for the 2005 GSS was time use. This was the fourth GSS with time use as the core content. Cycle 2 in 1986, Cycle 7 in 1992 and Cycle 12 in 1998 also focussed on time use.

Time is precious and the decisions people make about dividing their time between work, family and leisure have implications for their own happiness and the welfare of others. Statistics Canada conducts its Time Use Survey with a particular interest in the time spent doing unpaid activities, such as child care, care for seniors, volunteering and household work. Policy makers need time-use information to shape decisions on child tax benefits, pension plans and health care programs. Employers also use the information to identify working conditions that balance employees' work and family obligations, such as flexible work schedules.

Time use estimates in this report are based on the information reported in the one-day time use diary portion of the survey. The diary provides a comprehensive accounting of participation in, and time spent on, a wide variety of day-to-day activities. In addition, information was collected on the location where these activities occurred (e.g., at home, at work, etc.) and the social contacts (for non-personal care activities), i.e., who the respondent was with - spouse, children, family, friends. The questionnaire collected additional information on perception of time, time spent on child care and other unpaid work, well-being, paid work and education, cultural and sports activities, social networks and trust, transportation as well as many socio-economic characteristics.

The target population included all people aged 15 and over, except full-time residents of institutions and residents of the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Data was collected in each month from January to December 2005. Over this period, a total of 19,597 people were successfully interviewed, yielding a response rate of 59%. For further information on methods and data quality, see the section at the end of this report.

Questions or comments pertaining to this report should be addressed to:
Dissemination and Client Services,
Aboriginal and Social Statistics Division,
Statistics Canada, 7th Floor, Section C1, Jean Talon Building,
170 Tunney's Pasture Driveway,
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6
Telephone: (613) 951-5979
FAX: (613) 951-4378

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Date modified: 2006-07-12 Important Notices