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How The Average American Has Changed From The Sixties To Today

Americans today spend more time in front of the TV, in the car, and smoking weed.

Posted on May 22, 2013, at 3:31 p.m. ET

Compared to Americans of the 1960s, Americans today ...

1. Watch way more TV.

Graphics by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

The daily TV consumption of American households has skyrocketed over the last 50 years from 5 hours to over 8 hours per day, according to Nielsen. Note that if a household is watching 8 hours a day, it may not mean each member of that household is present for all 8 hours.

2. Spend more time in the car.

Americans are spending slightly more time on average going to on from work today. However, their commuting distance has increased. In the 1960s, 10% of workers could walk to work and now that number has declined to just 2.8%.

3. Spend more of life single.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, marriage rates in the US are in a steady decline. The split between married adults and single adults is now almost 50/50.

4. And more time sexually active.

Sex before 15 was about 10% more common among those turning 15 in the nineties than it was among those who turned that age in the '50s and early '60s, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

5. When Americans today do have kids, they spend way more time with them.

The amount of childcare required per household has gone up significantly over the last few decades according to Pew. The demand for childcare has increased as it is now more common for both parents to hold full-time jobs.

6. And Americans are a lot more likely to live with their parents past the age of 18.

According to Pew, almost 1 in 4 adults aged 18-34 are living at home. This is due in large part to the high number of young people with student loan debt.

7. But they smoke less, so they're less likely to get yelled at.

Smoking has declined significantly over the last few decades. While over half of adult men smoked in the sixties, under a quarter do now.

8. However, they are a lot more likely to smoke weed.

Between 1969 and 2013, the percentage of adults who said they'd ever smoked marijuana increased tenfold.

9. Men are doing more housework; women are doing less.

Men are spending about twice as much time helping around the house today than there were in the '60s, according to Pew research. Meanwhile, women's housework time has decreased by about half, though they still spend more time on it than men do.

10. The opposite is true of work outside the home.

Pew salso found that men are actually spending less time working now than before. And women are working 66% more now than 50 years ago.

11. They're less likely to go to church.

According to Gallup, church attendance dropped about 14% between 1967 and 2010.

12. And a lot more suspicious of the government.

This has fluctuated a lot over the years — fear of big government rose in the mid-1960s before dropping again by the decade's end. And in 2006, 61% of Americans listed "big government" as the top threat.

13. But they're much more supportive of a female president.

Gallup polls found that the share of Americans who said they'd vote for a female president rose by 33 percentage points between 1963 and 2007.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the increase in percentage of Americans who would vote for a female president. The percentage rose by 33 percentage points.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.