Eye-Opening Charts Reveal Who Americans Spend Their Time With as They Age

Data Visualization - Who Do Americans Spend Their Time With

The best data visualizations make you think and reevaluate what you might take for granted. Data scientist Henrik Lindberg recently pulled together some data that will have Americans rethinking who they spend their time with.

Using data from the 2003 to 2015 annual census by the US Bureau of Labor Statistic, Lindberg culled six charts to show who Americans pass time with throughout their lives. Dan Kopf from Quartz transformed the information into a sleek visualization divided into friends, family, co-workers, partners, children, and alone time. The results may surprise you.

Of course, it's no surprise that early in life we spend the majority of our time with family and friends. This time decreases as we move into our 20s, making space for partners and children. And most won't find it shocking that co-workers actually share most of our daily hours, but it's the last chart that some may find most disheartening.

Lindberg found that as we age, the time we spend alone increases significantly. Just as the time we spend with our children plateaus around 50, our time alone steadily creeps upward through our elder years. That's all fine and good if you're an introvert, but it may cause you to think twice about reaching out to your parents and grandparents and spending some quality time with them.

But don't feel too bad. Older people actually report less stress and higher levels of happiness than people in their 20s. Emotional stability grows over time, allowing people to brush off things that would have been stressors in their younger years. So while we may spend most of our golden years alone, it doesn't necessarily mean we're lonely.

Using census information, data scientist Henrik Lindberg breaks down who Americans spend time with throughout their lives into six clear charts.

Data Visualization - Who Americans Spend Time With

Henrik Lindberg: Twitter | Medium
h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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