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America: Not Nearly as Lazy as Belgium but Absolutely Pathetic Compared to Mexico

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released Society at a Glance 2011 yesterday, an "overview of social trends and policy developments in OECD countries."

You'll note the US comes in at #9 -- just slightly more industrious that Slovenia, but lagging behind New Zealand, China, Austria, Estonia, Canada, Portugal, Japan, and the most industrious country in the developed world, Mexico.

A few interesting points from the OECD newsroom:

  • Most unpaid work is housework. Mexicans do the most, at more than 3 hours per day, and Koreans the least, at 1 hour and 19 minutes. Much of this time is spent cooking. Americans spend the least time cooking each day (30 minutes) and Turks the most in the OECD (74 minutes). Most people spend around 50 minutes a day cooking.

  • Shopping also makes up a big part of unpaid work. Most people in OECD countries spend 23 minutes a day shopping, with the French spending the most (32 minutes) and the Koreans the least (13 minutes).

  • The report also attempts to estimate how much unpaid work is worth as a percentage of GDP for the 25 OECD countries for which data are available. It finds that the value of unpaid work is considerable, equivalent to about one-third of GDP in OECD countries, ranging from a low of 19% in Korea to a high of 53% in Portugal.
You can download the full set of underlying data HERE.
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