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Canada's General Social Survey on Time Use: Challenges and Potential

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6. Conclusions and timeline

The challenge for 2005 GSS on Time Use has been to meet the information needs of policy departments while maintaining comparability with previous time use cycles and keeping the interview to a reasonable length. It is somewhat ironic that the time it takes to complete the Time Use GSS has such an impact on content decisions. Nevertheless, this is a reality that has an impact on our response rates, completion rates and our commitment to keeping respondent burden to a minimum.

Despite the challenges faced in developing the survey, some important new information is now available for users of the 2005 GSS. New modules such as those on transportation and close social network ties will allow researchers to answer many policy relevant questions to do with time crunch, families and the role of community and social ties in the lives of Canadians. In addition, the expansion of the activity codes for the 2005 GSS time diaries presents new possibilities for research on such topics as the impact of Internet use, email, chat and other kinds of electronic communication. New opportunities exist for comparing the time use of US residents with that of Canadians, given modifications to the 2005 GSS "where were you" component of the diary. And finally, the increased sample size from 11,000 to close to 20,000 opens many new possibilities for detailed analysis of smaller population sub-groups.

The data collection was completed in December 2005 and the data are released as of July 12, 2006. The way the whole population allocates time to key life activities affects current and future production, the quality of care provided to dependents, the quality of life of individuals and families, and the strength of the local community. Time use data in Canada will be used to better understand these issues.

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Date modified: 2006-11-20 Important Notices