Comparing changes in daily activities of older people in Europe: lessons from the development of the Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS)

Kimberly Fisher, University of Essex
Jonathan Gershuny, University of Essex
Anne H. Gauthier, University of Calgary
Nuno Torres, University of Essex

Time diary surveys offer significant evidence for the monitoring of trends in ageing societies. Diary data reveal, for instance, which groups remain physically active, offer insight on social interaction, reveal participation in unpaid care, and indicate the degree to which people stay at home. The Harmonised European Time Use Surveys project (HETUS) organised by Eurostat has influenced the collection of European time use data since 1999, though HETUS does not allow the tracing of trend across time (yet). Time use data has been collected widely across European countries since the 1960s, and the Multinational Time Use Study has harmonised earlier datasets with the more recent HETUS surveys. This paper examines the process of creating the MTUS, highlighting the advantages and weakness of this dataset for the study of older people’s behaviour. The paper also offers a preliminary assessment of changes in time use by older Europeans.

Presented in Session 39: International data