This analysis examines the demographics of those who spend the most time playing games–defined as playing board games, playing computer games, and playing games over the Internet. The data come from the American Time Use Survey published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018. The study covers the following demographic breakdowns–sex, age, race, employment status, weekly earnings, presence of children in the household, marital status, and educational attainment.
The highlights are that men spend more time gaming than women. Furthermore, those who are in the age category “15 to 24 years old” spend the most time gaming out of all the age categories–spending about 49.8 minutes a day. Whites spend more time gaming than any other race category. Part-time workers spend more time gaming than full-time workers and those who are unemployed. Those in the lowest earnings bracket spend the most time gaming out of all earnings categories. Respondents who had children from 13 to 17 years old spent the most time gaming–edging out those who reported having no children under 18 in the household. Married persons spend less time gaming than those with other marital statuses, which includes widowed, divorced, and never been married. Finally, those with less than a college diploma spend more time gaming than those with a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree.
Turning first to differences in gaming by sex, Chart 1, below, shows that men, on average, spend more time gaming per day than women. The difference is about 6.6 minutes per day.
When it comes to differences in time gaming by age, those who are 15 to 24 years old spend the most time gaming. The amount of time spent on the computer diminishes with age until respondents are 45 to 54, when there is a slight uptick in gaming.
Next, Chart 3 shows that Whites spend the most time on the computer gaming–slightly edging out Hispanics and Latinos and Blacks. Asians report the lowest levels of gaming out of all the race categories.
Chart 4 shows that part-time workers spend the most time gaming–almost double the amount of time spent by full-time workers. Part-time workers even slightly edge out unemployed workers.
When it comes to earnings categories and time spent gaming, those in the lowest weekly earnings category spend the most time. Then, there is a steady decline as weekly earnings increase. Those who earn $1,531 or higher spend only 7.8 minutes a day on gaming. This relationship is clearly shown in Chart 5.
When it comes to the presence of children, there is a bit of surprise. Those with children from 13 to 17 years old spend the most time gaming–beating out even those who do not have children under 18. Those with children under 6 spend the least time. This can be seen in Chart 6, below.
Chart 7 shows that married persons spend less time gaming than those with other marital statuses. Other statuses include, widowed, divorced, and never been married. This category of respondents spend about 11.4 more minutes a day gaming than those who are married.
Finally, Chart 8 shows the difference in gaming across educational attainment categories. Those with some college, high school graduates, and less than high school spend the most time gaming. The amount of time spent gaming then decreases with educational attainment. Those with advanced degrees spend only 9 minutes a day gaming.
This analysis tries to understand what are the demographics of those who are playing computer games. An interesting picture emerges–one that is intuitive at times, but also one that is somewhat surprising at times. This descriptive analysis is a first step in painting a picture of who these gamers are. A next step might be to double click on what applications these respondents are actually using.
Source: https://www.bls.gov/tus/lexiconwex2016.pdf , https://www.bls.gov/tus/datafiles-2018.htm