Do U.S. Adults Spend More Time-alone Today than in the Past? Evidence from the American Heritage Time Use Study
Daniela Negraia1, Robert Rinderknecht, Sophie Lohmann2, Emilio Zagheni2
1University of Oxford, 2Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

This article examines, for the first time, if patterns in time-alone in the US have changed over the past 60 years. The technological and demographic developments of the past decades have changed the way people live life in profound ways. Increase in social isolation and time-spent-alone is one such change, which scholars have yet to quantify and fully understand. We assess time-alone across six decades using harmonized data from the American Heritage Time Use Study (1965, 1975, 1998, 2003, 2012, 2018). Preliminary findings indicate that time spent alone has increased over the past six decades in the US by about 50 minutes/day. We expect the increase to be sharper for young-adults, men, and unpartnered respondents; and that the larger share of time-alone is spent during watching television, eating and commuting. As we refine our methods, we expect to provide a rigorous statistical analysis of changes in time-alone and its determinants.