Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Time Use Survey
Zeitverwendungserhebung (ZVE)

Social, Civic and Cultural Engagement
Relevance for this Topic
Country Germany
More Topics


Contact information

Statistisches Bundesamt, Forschungsdatenzentrum
65180 Wiesbaden
Phone: +49 0611 75-2420
Fax: +49 0611 75-3915
Email: forschungsdatenzentrum(at)

Timeliness, transparency

The first results of the data collected in 2001/02 were available more than 1 year later.

Type of data


Type of Study

Cross-section, occasional

approximately every 10 years

Data gathering method

Self-administered questionnaire

Access to data

Scientific Use Files (SUF) available by Research Data Centre and only for scientific use, SUF only for scientists in Germany, for some detailed data only on-site workplaces, CAMPUS-Files for teaching.

Conditions of access

SUF available on application, research contract, with fees.

depending on individual case

anonymised microdata

Scientific Use Files: POR data files

Data is available in German only.


Wave 1: Data collected in 1991/92 with a sample size of 6,845 households, 19,708 individuals. Wave 2: Data collected in 2001/02 with a sample size of 5,160 households, 13,758 individuals. Wave 3: Data is currently being collected (2012/13).



Quota sample based on the microcensus, base: all private households at the main place of residence

NUTS1 – Federal states

Wave 1: 12 years and older; Wave 2: 10 years and older

Representative of community-dwelling people aged 12 years and over (1991/92) or 10 years and older (2001/02) at NUTS 1 level (Federal states).

The data set includes individual and household information from interviews and individual time use data from diaries filled in over 3 randomly selected days during field time. Detailed Study: Detailed study for time use. Description of the 24-hour course of the day in 10 minute intervals (main activities and simultaneous activities, persons who were present, locations and means of transport), socio-demographic and socio-economic items for households and household-members, support given and received, volunteering, learning, infrastructure of place of residence, subjective assessment of time use . Topics in the field of engagement. Personal interview: Field of engagement/volunteering in the last 12 months, expenditure of time per month for engagement/volunteering. Activities (diary): Voluntary activities, informal help for other households.

• Alltag in Deutschland. Analysen zur Zeitverwendung. Beiträge zur Ergebniskonferenz der Zeitbudgeterhebung 2001/02 am 16./17. Februar 2004 in Wiesbaden. Forum der Bundesstatistik, Bd. 43. Wiesbaden: Statistisches Bundesamt 2004.
. • Ehling, Manfred, & Holz, Erlend und Kahle, Irene: Erhebungsdesign der Zeitbudgeterhebung 2001/02. In: Wirtschaft und Statistik, Nr. 6 (2001): 427-436. • Ehling, Manfred, & Merz, Joachim u.a.: Zeitbudget in Deutschland. Erfahrungsberichte der Wissenschaft. Spektrum Bundesstatistik, Bd. 17. Wiesbaden: Statistisches Bundesamt 2001.
• Wo bleibt die Zeit? Die Zeitverwendung der Bevölkerung in Deutschland 2001/02. Hrsg. Vom Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend / Statistisches Bundesamt 2003.


• ISCO 1988: International Standard Classification of Occupation, 1988 • ISCED: International Standard Classification of Education

Linkage by data user is not allowed and not possible.

Data quality

Not known

Some changes in the survey mode, e.g. changes in the time mode to fill in the diaries (1991/92: activities were registered every 5 minutes from 0 am to 12 pm, 2001/02: activities were registered every 10 minutes from 4 am to 4 pm).

Changes in the coding of activities (changes are documented).


The Time Use Survey (ZVE) provides unique diary data on the issue of time use in daily life. Data are collected in a large sample, so analyses for different social groups and household types can be conducted. Data are very detailed, many kinds of activities are registered – e. g. housework, child care, civic engagement, neighbourhood assistance, education, media use and many others. In the field of volunteering, activities are registered both in the diary and in the personal interview. The personal interview registers the fields of volunteering in the last 12 months and the expenditure of time per month. The diaries show the exact time expenditure for voluntary activities and informal help for other households. Data of the Time Use Survey allow trend analyses between the waves 1991/92 and 2001/02 (and the following waves), as well as European comparisons. A special strength of the survey is its large sample size. There is multi-stage quality control of all data. There are only few context variables besides socio-demographic items and items on employment. More complex causal analyses on the influence of various factors on time use are not possible.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
  • (see Partners)