Teenagers Spend Just 4 Minutes a Day Reading on Weekends, Survey Finds

By Madeline Will — June 19, 2014 1 min read
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Just the other day, I reported that children spend less time in the summer reading than they do watching TV or playing video games. Now, another report is out that says much the same thing—but for teenagers.

Youths ages 15 to 19 only read for leisure for an average of 4 minutes per weekend day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2013 American Time Use survey, which was issued this week. By contrast, they spend an average of 166 minutes (or almost 3 hours) watching TV and 52 minutes browsing on the computer and/or playing games, per weekend day.

This data fit in with a recent report from Common Sense Media. The nonprofit found that 45 percent of 17-year-olds said they only read for fun once or twice a year. And that number seems to have grown over time, the report found—in 1984, the percentage of 17-year-olds who never or hardly ever read for fun was 9 percent. In 2012, that number tripled to 27 percent.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Time and Learning blog.