Data: ONS

*An asterix means the change between 2015 and 2020 for that activity and person is not statistically significant.

There was a significant reduction in the amount of time most groups spent travelling, but the drop was less severe in lower-income households. People with lower incomes also spent less time working from home, because they are more often in occupations that cannot be performed from home. Thirty percent of key workers—those deemed to be essential to society—are found in the low income group.

Women still spent about 15min more a day on childcare than men. The gap between women and men over the time spent providing unpaid childcare and housework shrank during lockdown, but women still do more. An analysis of the US shows the perceptions of men and women on the division of labor don’t align.

People with higher incomes benefited from a greater increase in free time over the course of lockdown. People making more than £3,301 per month saw a 21% increase in time spent on entertainment and socializing, for example, while those earning less than £1,700 jumped by only 5%.

Lockdown and older people’s higher risk of death meant parents of children were less able to rely on older family members for childcare. People older than 60 reduced their time spent providing childcare by 90%. People with children in the household spent 35% more time providing childcare than five years ago. The precise amount of time spent on childcare varied significantly depending on the age of the child.

Some things the data show

  • People over 60 reduced the time spent caring to almost nothing.
  • People with lower incomes saw a smaller drop in travel.
  • Women are still spending more time than men caring for children.
  • People with lower incomes socialize and garden more, but people with higher incomes saw a larger increase in this leisure activity.
  • People gave up (just a little) on personal care.