Infographic: Old People Are The New Teenagers

A data visualization reveals Americans’ activities, second by second. Revelation: Old people lead very teen-like lives.

If you’ve ever been working at 3:45 a.m. and wondered how many fellow Americans were up doing the same thing, you can now consult a new data visualization developed by


The visualization draws on data from the American Time Use Survey, taken every year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which catalogs a mass of information about how Americans keep busy, by age, gender, and employment status. The visualization displays approximately how many Americans are doing any of eight activities at the moment you look at it, and changes second by second. For example, right now, at 1:30 p.m on a Tuesday, about 109,650,000 Americans are also working–more than are doing any other activity.

A demographics tab at the bottom reveals that in many cases, the data on various groups defies stereotypes. Despite assumptions that young people spend the most time watching TV, the elderly win the TV-watching contest, with people 75 and older averaging seven and half hours per day in front of the screen and more than half watching TV at 8 p.m. The elderly also beat teenagers at another one of their own supposed games–shopping. They spend more time making purchases than any other age group, at an average of 52 minutes a day. In other cases, though, the data does back up certain widespread assumptions: on average, women spend nearly an hour more every day doing household chores than men.

[H/T The Boston Globe]

About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.