USA 2003

This information has been created by the Centre for Time Use Research at the University of Oxford

Sample description

Country:

USA 2003

Study title:

American Time Use Survey(ATUS)2003

Collector:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA Department of Labor

When conducted:

Whole year 2003

Sampling method and study design:

This study aims to show what people across the USA are doing on any given day. This year is the first year of continuous time use data collection in the USA. The sample in this initial year was particularly large, though have been reduced for future years. The continuous data can be pooled to create a larger sample for analysis. Procedures for pooling are described on the ATUS website.

The ATUS is a national sample of adults aged 15 or older in private households (not nursing homes or institutions), and is drawn from a stratified three-stage random sub-sample of households that have completed the 8th and final wave of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The diary wave takes place around two months after the final CPS interview.

The diaries were collected from one person per household about the day before the interview (yesterday) using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). Participants were assinged to complete a diary for a particular day of the week. If people were sampled for a Monday and could not complete the diary on the first Monday of attempted contact, then the interviewers tried to call again for information about another Monday. The interviewers tried to contact people for 8 weeks. Half of the diaries were collected on weekend days, and half on week days. Respondents were contacted by mail with information about the study before being phoned for the diary interview. Around 5% of CPS households did not have a phone. These households are included. People in households with no phone were sent phone cards to enable them to call the survey without charge. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.
The study collect one 24 hour diary from participants. Interviewers recorded activities in respondent's own words. The diaries started at 4AM, and respondents told the interviewer the time that they started and stopped each activity. The diary collected main activity only (no secondary activities), who else was present, and location/mode of transport. If people who looked after a child aged <13 on the diary day, respondents were asked to indicate during which activities a child aged <13 was in their care (paid work, sleep and grooming excluded).

The software and the interviewers used some diary information to fill in some gaps - for instance to note that an activity was travel is the diarist reported a mode of transport but no activity.

Sample size:

20,720 respondents

Response rate:

57.8%

Weighting procedures:

The data include weights which adjust for oversampling of some groups, adjust for non-response, and balance the days of the week

Sources of information:

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Available documentation:

Questionnaire

User guide