• The target population of the GSS is persons aged 15 and over living in private households in the ten provinces of Canada. In the current series of tables, the data for Canada is based on the population of the ten Canadian provinces, excluding the residents of the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.
    • The participation rate is the proportion of the population who took part in an activity on a typical day that is representative of all seven days of the week, since the GSS respondents were roughly equally divided among the days of the week with regard to the reference period they were asked about. Since time use is likely to vary based on the day of the week, the daily averages and participation rates derived from the GSS data vary depending on the reference period that the respondents were asked about. For instance, respondents who were asked about their time use on a Saturday or a Sunday were less likely to have participated in professional activities than those asked about their time use on a weekday (Monday through Friday). The participants are the individuals who took part in a given activity.
    • Activities are divided into four major categories, namely professional, domestic, personal, and free time activities.
    • Productive activities include professional and domestic activities.
    • Professional activities refer to paid work, education activities, and job search activities, including travel to and from these activities.
    • Domestic activities include housework, care for household members, and shopping for goods and services. Housework refers to meal preparation, cleaning, and indoor or outdoor maintenance, including travel to and from unpaid domestic work. Care for household members includes care provided to both children and adults. It refers to basic care, but also to other activities such as reading and playing with children, help with homework, and participation in school meetings, including travel to and from care for household members. Shopping for goods and services includes daily grocery shopping, purchase of durable goods, and wealth management.
    • Personal activities include washing, dressing, getting ready, night or day sleep, naps and lying down, private prayer, meditation, and other personal care or private activities (e.g. washroom activities, sex).
    • Free time activities refer to voluntary and civic activities such as professional, union, political, religious, or other activities, entertainment, sports and leisure, as well as media and communication activities.


    • Daily average time and participation rate estimates are shown in the tables with measures of precision, i.e. approximate coefficients of variation (CV). Estimates with a CV higher than 33% cannot be published, as they are considered unreliable. These measures of precision take into account the survey sample design. To this end, the bootstrap method was used.
    • The Québec sample for the GSS included 2,277 respondents in reference year 2010, 3,800 in 2005, 2,054 in 1998, 1,880 in 1992, and 2,396 in 1986.

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    • The General Social Survey (GSS) on time use was conducted by Statistics Canada in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2005, and 2010. Respondents reported their time use over a 24-hour reference period. The survey covers paid and unpaid work, such as housework and child care, but also time devoted to personal activities and free time, for example participation in sports and leisure activities.

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