Time spent eating and drinking: Vermont stands out

This is how Vermont stands out according to data from the Department of Labor’s 2010-2016 American Time Use Surveys. Governing Magazine online complied and mapped the bite sized pieces.

Vermonters spend an average of 1.3 hours per day eating and drinking, the most of any state. States on the opposite end of the spectrum are primarily concentrated in the South.

Data reflects all time spent eating or drinking regardless of location (including meals at home), except when completed as part of a work or volunteer activity.

leisure map 1In New England Massachusetts was closest eating and drinking 1.21 hours per day and out west Colorado came in at 1.22 hours per day.


But how about all that outdoorsy Vermonter stuff? Well, it seems we’re in the back of the pack in sports, exercise and recreation. Vermonters spend 0.33 hours per day and that is below our neighbor, New Hampshire at 0.42. Western states lead in this category with Alaska the highest at 0.61 hours per day and Wyoming next at 0.54.

Other data includes the state by state amount of time spent on income-generating activities. That estimate seems low but it includes those not working, so averages are lower than would be if only employed workers were counted.

Some fits neatly into longtime perceptions, such as Southerners spending more time on religious and civic activities. Almost neatly enough to wonder about confirmation bias-a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. Probably check into that after a hike or lunch.

2 thoughts on “Time spent eating and drinking: Vermont stands out

  1. I have to say I have serious doubts about the validity of this survey.

    People in Maine seem to spend an inordinately greater amount of time working than do the people of New York State, for instance. All that labor in the cranberry bogs, perhaps?

    And you can’t tell me that Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana are engaging in more sports, exercise and recreation than Californians and New Yorkers…who also don’t appear to be very hardworking. Manhattan is a walking city.

    Furthermore, I have to seriously doubt the stat that shows Vermonters aren’t involved in civic activities or volunteering. We may be the least religious state, but there is ample evidence that we make up for that participation in strong community representations.

    1. Yup, it looks like an odd one especially when just looking at these little bits from the article.

      In ATUS, individuals are randomly selected from a subset of households that have completed their eighth and final month of interviews for the Current Population Survey
      The U.S. Dept. Of Labor Time Use Survey data is used by economists to determine the value of non-market work. By using data in conjunction with earnings data, economists are able to estimate the value of nonmarket production—such as housework, volunteer work, and childcare.

      Others including economists, sociologists[for policy studies] and business [for marketing] they say will find it useful.

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