Society Daily TV watching time by country


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I have made a map showing the average time spent watching TV (in minutes) in and around Europe. The data for this map comes from Statista (for Europe), Zenith OptiMedia (for the Middle East) and Ipsos (for Lebanon only).

For the sake of comparison, Americans spend 270 minutes per day in front of the TV, while it is 262 min for the Japanese, 254 min for Brazilians, 193 min for South Koreans, 188 min for Australians and 144 min for Indians (source).


Within Europe, richer countries or countries with a higher Human Development Index tend to watch less TV. That correlation does not always apply to developing countries where less people own a TV. The Spaniards watch less TV than the Portuguese despite a much higher unemployment rate, and there is no difference in TV watching habits between the Nordics despite varying unemployment rates

There is also a certain level of correlation with unemployment rates. Countries with very low unemployment like Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg watch less TV, while those with rampant unemployment, like in the Balkans and Romania, watch more of it. But that correlation is far from perfect. The French don't watch more TV than the Brits or Germans despite having a twice higher unemployment rate. Spaniards have 16% unemployment but watch much less TV than the Portuguese who have only 8% of unemployment.
I found this map comparing the amount of time spent watching TV between US states. Once again, poorer states (West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana) watch more TV than richer ones (New England, Minnesota, West Coast), but the correlation isn't perfect.

My guess is that it correlates negatively with time spent on the internet.
Well every Saturday evening it's really time in the UK!
Another factor is if there's anything worth watching. Within the last couple of years there's been an explosion in the U.S. of really high quality television programming, so attractive to people that combined with internet use and the ability to buy access to relatively recent movies that people don't go to movie theaters as often. What is put out by HBO, for example, is far superior to most of what appears in the theaters.

There are also the news junkies, of which I am one. If I'm not on the internet or listening to music, the news is on the television, either an American channel or RAI. Sometimes it's on even if I'm on the internet or reading too. It's background. For men, sometimes the sports channel is on a lot of the time.

I do think it might skew older, though. My kids get their news on the net not on the news channels, and use netflix instead of watching the regularly scheduled programming. Would something like Netflix use be factored in?
It was a bit surprising that Nordic countries watch so little TV. Personally I watch TV (exclusively Netflix or DVDs, as I cancelled my cable subscription 2 years ago) the most during the cold and dark months from November to February. I would expect that Nordics would also spend a lot of time in front of the TV during these even longer evenings than here.

I used to follow the news on TV, but I am so fed up of disasters, politics and stupid stories that I stopped watching several years ago and now get my news exclusively online, mostly about science and technology + a quick look at the international headlines.
Maciamo-Going by your map, one reason people in the U.S. have a higher proportion of television viewers is because they live in rural areas, where sometimes there's no internet or cell phone service but still available electricity to watch television.
Imo that also explains why states like West Virginia and Mississippi tend to have higher rates of television viewers than even other states in the Southern U.S.
We now use the TV more than ever, with youtube videos for the child, and the Amazon Prime subscription.

But we watch TV a maximum of 10 minutes per month (not per day), being generous.

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