New law: Regular data on time usage from 2022

Time use survey provides, among other things, important information about the workload in families

Press release No. 313 from July 1, 2021

WIESBADEN – On July 1, 2021, the law on the statistical survey of time use (Time Use Survey Act, ZVEG) comes into force. Since the 1990s, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), together with the statistical offices of the federal states, has been collecting data on the time spent by people living in Germany about every ten years, most recently in 2012/13. The new legal basis now ensures that this voluntary survey is carried out on a regular basis. This means that for the first time in 2022, the time use survey (ZVE) will no longer take place as a survey for special purposes (Section 7 of the Federal Statistics Act), but under a separate law.

Important data basis for socio-political measures

The next ZVE will take place from January to December 2022 under the motto “Where’s the time?”. At the ZVE, all participants aged ten and over record complete daily routines over 24 hours, from work or school to hobbies and internet use to shopping, childcare, voluntary activities and the associated travel times by car, bus, train, bicycle or on foot. From the summarized data of all participants it can be deduced how people from different population groups and household constellations divide their time into different areas of life. The data are an important basis for preparing and evaluating socio-political measures, for example to better combine family and work. Particular interest is given to the scope of “care work”, that is, unpaid work such as child care, housework, volunteering and volunteering.

Well-founded data on the distribution of paid and unpaid work between women and men are important for gender equality policy measures, for example. The data on “care work” supplement the traditional national accounts, which do not include the unpaid services of private households in the regular reporting on added value and prosperity. The ZVE also collects information about the duration of educational or leisure activities and media consumption. In this way, a comprehensive picture of the average time used by different population groups can be derived from the data.
Since surveys of people’s time use are carried out in most of the Member States of the European Union, EU comparisons are also possible.

Registrations for the ZVE 2022 are expected to be possible from mid-August 2021

For the ZVE 2022, 10,000 households are being sought that will voluntarily take part in the survey. The centerpiece is the diary in which the participants enter their activities on three specified days during the day.

For the first time, an app is also used in an official household survey. The mobile app will be available in the app stores. In addition, a web app is offered that can be used via the common internet browser. As a thank you, participants receive a cash bonus of 15 euros per household and an additional 20 euros per household member aged ten and over.

Interested households can probably register for the ZVE 2022 from mid-August 2021 at

Additional Information:

  • The results of the last ZVE in 2012/13 are available on the time use topic of the Federal Statistical Office.
  • Details on the preparation of the ZVEG are available on the website of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)