Society at a Glance: Mexicans work longer days than anyone else in OECD countries, devoting 10
hours to paid and unpaid work, such as cleaning or cooking at home. Belgians
work the least, at 7 hours, compared with an OECD average of 8 hours a day. The
Irish are the second lowest for the amount of
routine housework (cooking and cleaning).
These are among the insights in the latest edition of
Society at a Glance,
which gives an overview of social trends and policy developments in OECD
countries. Using indicators taken from OECD databases and other sources, it
shows how societies are changing over time and compared with other countries.
A special chapter in the report looks at unpaid work, such as cooking, cleaning,
caring, and shopping, in 26 OECD countries, as well as China, India and South
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, after the Irish at 1 hour and 30 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
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.
Other social indicators documented in the report include fertility rates,
education and health spending, inequality, migration, tolerance and trust.
The Paris based Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development is a think-tank for 34 mainly developed countries.
OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European
Commission takes part in the work of the OECD.