Question of the Day: How do 18-29 year old Americans spend their free time?

Feb 03, 2020
Question of the Day, Budgeting, Research, Current Events

Courtesy of Morning Brew (great daily newsletter to keep you in the loop with the world of finance!)

Chose activity that Americans did more often in the past year:

  1. Go to a library // go to a movie theater
  2. Visit a casino // visit a museum
  3. Attend a live music or theatrical event // attend a live sporting event 
  4. Visit a zoo // visit an amusement or theme park


  1. Going to a library
  2. Visiting a casino
  3. Attending a live music or theatrical event
  4. Visiting an amusement or theme park


  • How would you answer this question in your own life? 
  • When you think about how you use your free time on weekends, how many of your "free time" activities cost money vs. are free? 
  • Extension: Find the average cost for each of these activities 
    • Do 18-29 year old Americans tend to choose the lower cost options for each pair of activities? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (from Gallup Poll):

Visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far. The average 10.5 trips to the library U.S. adults report taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in eight other common leisure activities. Americans attend live music or theatrical events and visit national or historic parks roughly four times a year on average and visit museums and gambling casinos 2.5 times annually. Trips to amusement or theme parks (1.5) and zoos (.9) are the least common activities among this list.


Here's an interactive about how Americans spend their time


For more Questions of the Day, be sure to check out the Questions of the Day library! 


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.