Multinational Time Use Study User Guide

This User Guide is the companion document to the MTUS dataset. The Version 7 includes new data quality checks, a comprehensive revision of the weights, and new variables.

This Guide explains the structure of the MTUS dataset and identifies issues of comparability across the included surveys. It describes the national surveys and associated harmonised variables, the weighting of time use data and appropriate methods for analysing time use data.

To date, more than 110 time use surveys have been archived in the MTUS data store. This Guide relates to only the subset of those surveys included in the harmonised data files.

The Harmonised Aggregate Files (HAF) offer aggregate versions of the time use surveys and include, demographic and socioeconomic information about respondents and their households alongside the aggregated time use variables.

The Harmonised Episode Files (HEF) covers sequence of activities information. As the HEFs are large, age and sex are the only identifiers included alongside the diary information.

The Harmonised Episode Files Original (HEF_OR) tis data files contains the same information that the HEF with the particularity that contains the original number of episodes of the activities from the original data

README file for each survey includes survey-specific information for the activity coding of harmonised variables.

Whilst this User Guide is publicly available, access to the time use data is restricted and requires registration and authorisation. New users can apply for access by registering at:

User Guide 2021 (1.17 MB)
Coding Procedures (807.32 KB)