We All Spend More Time With Our Kids Except in France

Here’s an interesting chart presented recently by the Economist:

There are two overall trends here: (1) over the past few decades, mothers are spending more and more time with their children, and (2) in most countries, mothers now spend about two hours a day with their kids.

But if this data is accurate, there are two huge outliers, one in each direction. In France, childcare time has been declining and is now down to about an hour per day. In Denmark it’s skyrocketed, now averaging about four hours per day. And that’s not all: it’s skyrocketed from a 1965 base of about ten minutes per day. This seems rather unlikely, doesn’t it?

There are several countries with large divergences between college-educated and non-college-educated mothers, but the largest divergence appears to be in the United States. College-educated mothers spend about 120 minutes per day with their kids while non-college-educated mothers spend about 90 minutes.

What this shows, generally speaking, is that as mothers have spent less time on other housework thanks to both modern technology and work outside the home, they’ve filled up that extra time with childcare. That’s probably a good tradeoff. I still have a hard time figuring out how Danish mothers can manage to cram in four hours a day, though.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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