Australia Reads April 17, 2024

A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) looks at how Australian generations spend their time on recreation and leisure – with some concerning statistics for reading for pleasure.

The report draws on findings from the 2020-21 Time Use Survey (TUS) in which people in the survey completed a diary of their activities.

The findings reveal worrying trends for reading for pleasure, with low levels of participation across all generations, particularly when compared to other forms of leisure activities and media.

Key findings with regard to reading include:

  • People from the Interwar Years were the biggest readers, with nearly half of the Interwar generation reportedly spending time in their day reading (47%).
  • 30% of Baby Boomers participated in reading on any given day, coming in as the second-highest generation.
  • Reading participation for Generation X showed a significant gender imbalance, with nearly one in four (23%) Generation X females participating in reading on any given day compared to around one in eight Generation X males (12%).
  • Millennials (Gen Y) showed the second lowest levels of participation in reading at 14.1%. They also had the lowest percentage of participation in leisure and recreation on any given day compared to other generations.
  • Generation Z showed the lowest levels of participation in reading than any other generation at 11.2%, with this generation spending higher proportions of time on digital gaming and internet and mobile device use.
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