American Heritage Time Use Study

The American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS), a database of national time-diary samples collected over six decades, includes harmonised background, activity, location, mode of transport and who else was present variables. The AHTUS is suitable for a wide range of investigative purposes. As these data are freely available to the research community, we urge users to make programmes and publications developed using this data available to other users. Kindly email such material to the AHTUS Team. The initial development of this project allowing release 1 in May 2006 was conducted under an agreement with Yale University (Program on Non-Market Accounts), and was sponsored by the Glaser Progress Foundation. Some amendments to this dataset made from December 2005 through December 2011 were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. From January 2012 through December 2015, further additions and upgrades to the AHTUS have been funded by a combination of grants provided by the Economic and Social Research Council and the US National Institutes of Health. In July 2013, we:

  • Released the 2012 American Time Use Study data
  • Amended errors in the recording of secondary eating in the 2006-2008 American Time Use Study data
  • Released the 1998-2001 Family Interaction, Social Capital, and Trends in Time Use Study (FISCT) and National Survey of Parents (NSP) data

In August 2012, we:

  • corrected minor errors in the 2007 and 2008 datasets,
  • released the 2011 ATUS data

In future, you will be able to find emotions and affect supplements on the MTUS supplements page. We also plan to add the 2006 PATS data to the AHTUS at a future point and USDA diaries collected in the 1920s to 1930s.


The AHTUS project team are deeply grateful to the following people who have helped to make the original project a success.

We thank Professor William Nordhaus for awarding us the project funded by the Glaser Project Foundation and co-ordinated by the Yale University Program on Non-Market Accounts. We also thank Dr Dan Melnick for his extensive comments and advice during the project. Additionally, we are grateful for the further funding from the Economic and Social Research Council which has allowed the extension and improvement of elements of this project.

After the completion of the initial project, the following people reviewed our work and made useful suggestions which we have incorporated into the current version of the AHTUS:

  • Dr Dorinda Allard, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA
  • Professor Barbara M. Fraumeni, University of Southern Maine, USA
  • Professor Daniel S. Hamermesh, the Edward Everett Hale Centennial Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Professor Andrew Harvey, Time Use Research Programme, Saint Mary's University, Canada
  • Dr Diane Herz, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA
  • Professor J. Steven Landefeld, Bureau of Economic Analysis, USA
  • Dr Jay Stewart, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA
  • Dr Hidde van der Ploeg, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Dr Vanessa Wight, University of Maryland, USA
  • Kennard T. Wing, Kennard T. Wing & Company, under contract

Co-ordination and Funding

The Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR) at the University College London maintains this database as an adjunct to the Multinational Time Use Study with additional information from the original American data. The CTUR team originally developed this database while based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex in the UK on commission from Yale University (Program on Non-Market Accounts) for the Glaser Project Foundation, which funded the creation of this project. The original AHTUS project was one of two related time use and United States national accounts projects commissioned by Yale University. Since 2008, CTUR, with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, has improved the original files and expanded the surveys included in the AHTUS.

People who maintain the present database and oversee updates and developments:

  • Professor Jonathan Gershuny

People who harmonised and developed the original AHTUS:

  • Dr Kimberly Fisher
  • Dr Evrim Altintas
  • Professor Jonathan Gershuny
  • Dr Muriel Egerton
  • Mr Nuno Torres
  • Mr Andreas Pollmann

With advice from:

  • Professor Anne Gauthier, University of Calgary
  • Dr Roger Patulny, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW
  • Professor John Robinson, University of Maryland)

People who commissioned and oversaw the original project:

  • Professor William Nordhaus 
  • Dr Dan Melnick