How Much Time the Average American Spends on Chores

Beth Mowbray
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Household chores are necessary—albeit dreaded by many—part of daily life. It seems there is a never-ending to-do list involved with maintaining a home and keeping it running smoothly. Tasks like taking care of children and pets, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry must be done, no matter how busy or tired one may be. There are benefits to performing these tasks, though. According to a study published in Neurology in July 2022, completing household chores may lower the risk of dementia. Research has shown that a clean and well-organized home can positively affect a person’s mental health. Many people also feel an internal sense of accomplishment upon completing tasks and checking them off a list.

But just how much time do these household tasks consume? Home warranty company American Home Shield reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 American Time Use Survey to see how much time the average American spends on everyday chores.

The annual American Time Use Survey measured the average amount of time per day that people over age 15 worked, completed household tasks, and participated in sports and leisure activities. Times were rounded to the nearest minute. It is also important to note that many chores are not done daily, and some, like child care, are only performed by a subset of the population.

The survey found that the majority of people—86% of women and 71% of men—spent time completing household chores daily. On average, people did more housework on the weekends than on weekdays. The only task more people reported doing on weekdays was food preparation and cleanup.

Results also showed that women are more likely to complete household chores—and spend more time on them—than men. On an average chore day, women spent two hours and 42 minutes on household tasks, while men spent two hours and 12 minutes.

Keep reading to learn the average amount of time per day Americans reported spending on 12 common household chores.

A poodle walking on a leash
1 / 12 Canva

#12. Caring for animals and pets

Average minutes: 46

A person organizing their notes
2 / 12 Canva

#11. Household management

Average minutes: 47

A woman buying produce
3 / 12 Canva

#10. Grocery shopping

Average minutes: 48

A father helping his son with homework
4 / 12 Canva

#9. Helping children with homework

Average minutes: 57

A man talking on the phone
5 / 12 goodluz // Shutterstock

#8. Responding to or making telephone calls, mail, and email

Average minutes: 61

A woman cooking at home
6 / 12 Canva

#7. Food preparation and cleanup

Average minutes: 62

A man doing laundry
7 / 12 Canva

#6. Laundry

Average minutes: 67

A person wiping a counter in their home
8 / 12 Canva

#5. Interior cleaning

Average minutes: 89

A person cleaning out their gutters
9 / 12  Canva

#4. Exterior maintenance, repair, and decoration

Average minutes: 119

A person fertilizing their lawn
10 / 12  Canva

#3. Lawn and garden care

Average minutes: 121

A mother playing with her baby
11 / 12  Canva

#2. Child care

Average minutes: 125

A man working on his plumbing
12 / 12 Canva

#1. Interior maintenance, repair, and decoration

Average minutes: 136

This story originally appeared on American Home Shield and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


  • Beth Mowbray

    Beth Mowbray is a freelance writer with a passion for entertainment and pop culture, especially books. She is also a clinical social worker with extensive experience working with children and families. Beth's other great loves include her son and husband, live music, that first sip of morning coffee, and a bottle of wine shared among friends.

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