Teens are Studying More, Working Less, According To Latest Pew Research

U.S. teens represent a sizable market, with up to $143 billion in buying power, not counting their influence on household spending. Knowing how Generation Z spends its time can give advertisers valuable insights on how to best reach this market, and Pew Research Center’s new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data identifies notable differences from even a decade ago.

Pew Research’s study found that teenagers, ages 15-17, spend an hour a day doing homework during the school year, up from 44 minutes a day 10 years ago and 30 minutes in the mid-1990s. They’re also getting more sleep. At present, teens average nine and a half hours of sleep a night, 22 minutes more than a decade ago and almost an hour more than the mid-1990s.

Today’s teens have five hours and 44 minutes of leisure time a day, on average. The largest share belongs to screens—gaming, surfing the internet, watching videos and TV—three hours and four minutes, and has held steady over the past decade. On weekends, screen time rises to three hours and 53 minutes, and on weekdays it slips to two hours and 44 minutes. On average, teens spend 45 minutes a day playing sports, a figure that, along with shopping for clothes, listening to music and reading for pleasure, has been consistent over the past decade.

Socializing—attending parties, extracurricular activities, sporting or entertainment events, spending time with others, or on the phone—accounts for one hour and 13 minutes a day, down 16 minutes from a decade ago. Teens are also spending less time working during the school year. At present, they spend 26 minutes a day on paid work, compared to a decade ago, when the average was 49 minutes, and the mid-1990s, when it was 57 minutes. Pew notes this is because teens are less likely to be working than before; the amount of time employed teens spend working today is similar to the amount of time they spent working in 2005.

For more details on Pew’s findings, click here.

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