|Color Coding Key|
|GREEN||Ranked 1st for statistic|
|RED||Ranked last for statistic|
The United States ranks last among countries compared in vacation days per year, leave many vacation days untaken, and work the most hours per year, while the French are clearly the best rested.
|Total Paid Work
|Total Unpaid Work
|Days of paid vacation||Percent of vacation days not taken||Hours worked per year||Time for leisure and personal care||Work-life balance|
Work time includes compensated market or earning activities and non-market work like cooking, cleaning, and child care. Non-work time includes categories like free time and personal care. Market-oriented production activities are defined by the UN System of National Accounts. Time allocation is based on the average day of the year for population aged 20 to 74. Travel time is usually included with the activity.
UN Development Programme (web version), Human Development Report 2015. The year(s) that the data is coming from are listed below. This section of the chart is in minutes per day.
- Australia 2006
- Canada 2010
- France 2010
- Germany 2001-02
- Italy 2008-09
- Japan 2011
- Netherlands 2005-06
- Norway 2010
- Sweden 2010-11
- U.K. 2005
- U.S. 2013.
For previous UN Development Program Human Development Reports, check here.
Expedia.com - 2012 International Vacation Deprivation™ Survey. Results, for 2012; Sweden: see Colwell below.
Average hours worked per person per year, for 2009; UK for 2008; Australia, Italy, Norway, and Sweden for 2006.
Average number of minutes full time employees spends per day on leisure activities or personal care, for most recent year (1999-2010).
Scores for Work-life balance, based on several indicators as decribed in the link above. For 2013.
Leisure Activities in 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics
American Time Use Summary, June 2015
Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (3.05 hrs/day for men, 2.61 hrs/day for women), accounting for more than half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over.
Socializing, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, was the next most common leisure activity, accounting for 43 minutes per day.
Bryce Covert & Dylan Petrohilos, September 2014, ThinkProgress
- Still the only developed nation in the world that does not require some form of paid sick leave.
- 15 laws have been passed at the state and local levels starting with San Francisco in 2006.
- Paid sick leave allows workers stay at home when sick which may reduce flu transmissions by as much as 11 percent.
- Paid sick leave hasn't been found to hurt economies, and in fact many cities have outperformed after their laws were enacted.
"Contagion Nation: A Comparison of Paid Sick Day Policies in 22 Nations," (pdf) Jody Heymann, Hye Jin Rho, John Schmitt, Alison Earle
Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2009
"The United States is the only country of the 22 studied here that has no legal provisions for paid sick days or leave of some form."
- U.S. is the only country that does not provide paid sick leave for a worker undergoing a 50-day cancer treatment
- is 1 of only 3 countries that does not provide paid sick days for a worker missing 5 days of work due to the flu
New York Times, July 29th, 2005
Le Monde, June 29, 2007, based on Center for Economic and Policy and Research (CEPR):
- US has lowest number of vacation days of ALL developed countries, due in part to no law requiring paid leave
- U.S.- 1/4 of private sector have no right to any vacation
- Expedia: 1/3 of Americans do not take the 14 days annual paid leave they are on average entitled to.
- Almost 1/4 of those taking vacation stay in touch with their company by email or voicemail.
AlterNet.org, May 21, 2007:
- Americans work more than anyone else in the industrialized world: Sierra Club
- U.S. - world's largest polluter, 22 percent of fossil fuel consumption, 50 percent of solid waste: CEPR
- France - greater productivity per person than U.S., $37.01 GDP per hour (U.S. $33.77)
- US is only industrialized nation with no legal protection for vacations.
Average time spent watching TV per person per day
News as a percent of total TV programming