General Social Survey - Time Use (GSS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1986

Reference period of change - 2015 - 2016 (Cycle 29)

Key objectives of the "Time Use" GSS (cycle 29) are:
- to better understand how Canadians spend and manage their time and what contributes to their well-being and stress;

- to answer important questions about the lives of Canadians, such as:
Are we working too many hours and spending too much time commuting?
Do we have flexible work schedules?
Do we have enough time to play sports, participate in leisure activities or volunteer?
Are we spending enough quality time with our children, our families and our friends?
How has the internet and social media affect the way we spend our time?
Are we satisfied with our lives?

Instrument design - Light Time Use Diary
The list of activities has been revised and reduced to 64 activities from the 72 found in the pilot test. Some of the codes were streamlined to facilitate respondent's self completion.

Sampling - Uses Statistics Canada's new telephone sampling frame. The frame contains landline and cellular telephone numbers. Replaced the Random Digit Dialing frame.

Reference period of change - 2010 (Cycle 24)

The focus of this cycle is on Time stress and well-being.

Reference period of change - 2005 (Cycle 19)

New modules such as those on transportation and close social network ties were included. As well, in order to include more content in the survey, it was decided to split the sample. Half of the respondents were asked the questions on cultural and sports activities and the other half, questions on social networks and transportation. Although Cycle 19 has used a different CATI system (i.e., Blaise), the same methodology of providing screens to assist in coding the episode details was being used. The activity codes for the 2005 GSS time diaries related to Internet use were expanded to include email, chat and other kinds of electronic communication. New opportunities also exist for comparing the time use of US residents with that of Canadians, given modifications to the 2005 GSS "where were you" component of the diary. And finally, the increased sample size from 11,000 to close to 20,000 opens new possibilities for detailed analysis of smaller population sub-groups.

Reference period of change - 1998 (Cycle 12)

The core content of time use repeats that of Cycle 7 (1992) and Cycle 2 (1986), and provides data on the daily activities of Canadians. Question modules were also included on unpaid work activities, cultural activities and participation in sports.

Reference period of change - 1992 (Cycle 7)

Core content for Cycle 7 was again time use, first covered in the 1986 GSS. The diary approach used in Cycle 2 was repeated. Coding of activities was expanded. A main objective of the cycle was the measurement of unpaid work including domestic work, childcare, volunteer work, etc. Also included were questions to measure participation in sport and cultural activities. These questions were sponsored by Sports Canada, and various government departments and cultural organizations.

Reference period of change - 1986 (Cycle 2)

In Cycle 2, the core content on time use and social mobility covered the topics of daily activities done on own and with others, inter- and intra-generational mobility, and personal well-being.

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