Multinational Time Use Study

The Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) brings together more than a million diary days from over 70 randomly sampled national-scale surveys, into a single standardised format. MTUS allows researchers to analyse time spent by different sorts of people in various sorts of work and leisure activities, over the last 55 years and across 30 countries. 

Professor Jonathan Gershuny first developed MTUS in the mid 1980s. While working at the University of Bath with Sally Jones, Professor Gershuny developed a single dataset with common series of background variables and total time spent per day in 41 activities. The original MTUS allowed comparison of British time use data with the 1965 Szalai Multinational Time Budget Study and data from Canada and Denmark. The MTUS since has grown to offer harmonised episode and context information and to encompass over 60 datasets from 25 countries, including recent data from the HETUS, ATUS, and other national level time use projects.

MTUS is currently managed by Professor Jonathan Gershuny and Margarita Vega. This site provides access to the data and documentation, and offers advice on the use of this dataset. At present we are undertaking a wholesale upgrade of the MTUS. This includes removing some less used variables, adding new variables, new surveys, and upgrading the documentation. You will see a number of changes on this area of the CTUR website over the next few months. These changes will include the introduction of survey metadata variables alongside the time diary variables. Please bear with us while these changes are added.

MTUS is also part of a collaborative project with Minnesota Population Center and the Maryland Population Research Center, to provide a data extract builder designed to make it easy for users to create data files that contain the time use, personal characteristic, and household characteristics variables. This data extract builder is called MTUS-X.  The data provided in MTUS and MTUS-X are perfectly compatible. Access to the MTUS-X interface may be achieved via

MTUS Poster