Marimekko chart showing time spend on sleep, school, leisure and bar chart showing gender differences.

How Do Teenagers Spend Their Time?

Sleep and leisure activities take up most of a teenager’s day as shown in the Marimekko chart below left.  Boys spend more time on screens and in class, while girls spend more time on homework and grooming, as shown in the bar chart on the right.  Data on U.S. teenagers are from Pew Research.

Teenagers sleep, on average, over 9 hours per night.  Leisure activities take up almost 6 hours per day.  Over half of teen's leisure activity is on screen.  Education is the next biggest category with most time spent in the class room.  Four per cent of a teen's day, about 1 hour, is spent on homework.

There are large gender differences in time spend on several activities.  Boys spend almost 1 hour more per day on screens than girls and almost 1/2 an hour more in class.  Girls spend more time grooming (23 minutes) and doing homework (21 minutes).

Teenage Activities per Day in Marimekko and Bar Charts

Marimekko chart showing time spend on sleep, school, leisure and bar chart showing gender differences.

How I Made This Marimekko Chart with Data Row and Horizontal Stacked Bar Chart

Using the Marimekko chart, I can divide activities into main and sub-activities.  I chose three main activities (sleep, leisure and education) that took up 85% of the teenagers day and grouped the rest of the activities into an other bar at the right.  The horizontal bar chart can shows the gender differences in each activity and is sorted to highlight the activities with the largest gender difference.  If I were to add data to the bar chart, I might add a data column that shows percentage differences in activities. Here is the Mekko Graphics Data Editor for the marimekko chart:

Data sheet for marimekko chart


Here are the steps to make the Marimekko chart with data row:

  • enter data in minutes for each sub-activity (e.g., sleep, errands) into Mekko Graphics Data Editor
  • create columns for the activity category (sleep, leisure, education, other) and move data into appropriate column
  • add data row with % of total using formulas to compute
  • show segment labels with values and calculated percentage
  • change percentage calculations (in Numbers) to show percent of grand total instead of percent of bar total
  • hide axis lines and add y axis title
  • adjust internal margins and uncheck Autowrap to show % of total on one line
  •  color individual segments so that each bar is a shade of a different color

Here is the Mekko Graphics Data Editor for the horizontal bar chart:

Data sheet for horizontal bar chart

Here are the steps to make the horizontal bar chart:

  • enter the gender difference data in minutes into a column of the chart
  • use switch bars/series button to display the column as a series
  • sort the data in the column from biggest to smallest
  • adjust the internal margins
  • add the y axis title and position it above the vertical axis (use special characters from character map for triangles)
  • add the x axis title and place it at the bottom of the chart
  • color each bar to match the corresponding segments in the Marimekko chart

Take This Chart and Make It Your Own

Download this chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics. See more Marimekko charts in our chart gallery. Here are some other charts that may be of interest: