A new round of official surveys is launched for learning how citizens distribute their time after the pandemic

Today, the first Spanish exchange forum on time use surveys has been held, with the participation of the European, Spanish, Catalan, and Basque statistical agencies. The conferences seek to create a dialogue between the research world and public policies in preparation for new surveys, planned for 2023 and 2024.

Today, 3 March 2023, the first exchange forum of methodology and analysis on time use surveys in Spain was held at the Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona. After more than ten years since the last time use surveys, the new data collection planned for 2023 and 2024 represents an opportunity for both the academia and public policy.

Such surveys, harmonised at the European level, allow extracting key data on population’s time use distribution (by detailing sleeping hours, task distribution, different patterns according to age, gender or social class, etc.). They will be the first official data extracted in a post-pandemic context and with a representative sample of society.

The conference provided information on the new round of surveys scheduled to begin in Spain during 2024. Surveys will collect new data on time use and time poverty in Spain and Europe, and will encourage new research lines and public policies to move forward towards the right to time.

The forum also enabled presentation of successful projects that have been made using data from previous surveys. It included a participatory workshop with an innovative methodology, encouraging different participants who use or could use data from these surveys can find common ground, share future ideas and projects, and contribute to the construction of time public policies.

The event counted with the participation of the Spanish Statistical Institute (INE), the Catalan Statistical Institute (Idescat), the Basque Statistical Institute (Eustat), the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). The Spanish Federation of Sociology (FES), Global Health Institute of  Barcelona (ISGlobal), the Centre for Demographic Studies (CED), and various public institutions have also participated.

The forum was co-organized by the Ernest Lluch Centre of the Menéndez y Pelayo University in Barcelona (CUIMPB), and the main European association promoting time policies, the Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society (BTUI).

  • Marga León, academic director from CUIMPB, put forward “the field of time policies and the study of time use is a field of the future and with a lot of social impact. For this reason, we in CUIMPB will continue to be committed to organising meetings that allow us to connect research and policies of time throughout Spain.”
  • Marta Junqué, co-coordinator of the BTUI and director of the conferences, highlighted: “this is a historic opportunity to find out, with official and comparable data, how our uses of the time since the pandemic and the impact of digitalisation have changed on teleworking. These data will allow developing new time policies to ensure the right to time and reduce poverty in society’s time, such as the future Spanish time use law.”
More information on time use surveys

The Spanish Statistical Institute will begin its field work in 2024, and both Catalan and Basque Institutes will do so during 2023. Eurostat already began its harmonised round at the European level in 2020.

Idescat – Enquesta de l’ús del temps (last survey: 2010-2011)

INE – Encuestas del Empleo del tiempo (last survey: 2009-2010)

Eustat – Encuesta de presupuestos del tiempo (last survey: 2018)

Eurostat – Harmonised European Time Use Surveys


Link to program and speakers:

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