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The fifty states that make up the U.S. are different in so many ways that they sometimes seem like different countries.  These differences are most clearly seen in how residents of New York, Mississippi, Utah, North Dakota, and all the others spend their hours in the day.  Indeed, the amount of time we spend on activities say so much about our interests and values.

The American Time Use Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, measured the amount to time Americans  spent on different activities and compiled averages for each state.  How long do we spend commuting to work?  Reading?  On religious activities?   The Survey answered these and many other questions to give us a deeper understanding of how habits vary across states.  And the Washington Post’s Wonkblog took it one step further by translating the data into maps, which you can find here: 10 Maps That Show How Much Time Americans Spend Grooming, Eating, Thinking and Praying.

Here are a few of them:

Average daily sleep of Americans (via Washingtonpost.com/wonkblog)

Average Time Americans Spend Commuting (via Washingtonpost.com/wonkblog)

Average Time Americans Spend on Housework (via Washingtonpost.com/wonkblog)

We can glean a few interesting conclusions from these.  It’s not much surprise that New Yorkers and New Jerseyans have long commutes into NYC.  But did you know that North Dakotans apparently really like to clean?  And Mississippians somehow get an average of 9 hours of sleep?  The other maps on the post reveal that West Virginians watch the most TV on average, and folks in Louisiana spend the most time thinking and relaxing.  Vermonters also spend the least amount of time grooming.  Sadly, my home state of Connecticut is not very distinctive on any of these maps, appearing towards the middle on all measures.  But perhaps that just means we’re really good at balancing our time.

Happy mapping!

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