Harmonised European Time Use Surveys (HETUS) – Overview

Introduction

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What are the Harmonised European Time Use Surveys?

The Harmonised European Time Use Surveys (HETUS) are national surveys conducted in European countries to quantify how much time people spend on various activities, including paid work, household chores and family care, personal care, voluntary work, social life, travel and leisure.

The main survey instruments are a household questionnaire, an individual questionnaire and a time-use diary in which respondents are asked to record their daily activities in 10-minute time slots. HETUS is held about once a decade on the basis of a gentlemen's agreement between participating countries and Eurostat.

So far, there have been 2 rounds of Harmonised European Time Use Surveys:

  • HETUS 2000 (round 1, 1998-2006): conducted in 15 European countries.
  • HETUS 2010 (round 2, 2008-2015): conducted in 18 European countries - 15 EU countries, 3 non-EU countries (Norway, Serbia and Turkey). 13 of the 28 EU countries did not participate in the second round.

The next round is scheduled for 2020. The methodological manual, the main document with guidelines on harmonised data collection, was completed in early 2019. Many countries have not yet decided whether to conduct a time use survey (TUS) during round 3.

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Learn more about measuring time use

The harmonisation efforts for the European Time Use Surveys are explained in detail in the HETUS 2018 Methodological Guidelines.