Average Screen Time_ US vs. the rest of the world

Worldwide, the average person spends a total of 6 hours and 55 minutes looking at a screen each day (for internet-connected activities). And the majority of this (3 hours and 16 minutes) is spent on mobiles. This includes 2 hours 25 minutes scrolling through social media channels, an hour and a half of streaming music, and 54 minutes listening to podcasts.

But how does this worldwide average compare to the United States and other countries around the world?

Find out below.

The average American spends over 7 hours looking at a screen each day

According to data from DataReportal, the average American spends 7 hours and 11 minutes looking at a screen every day. This is slightly above average and over half an hour longer than the British who average 6 hours and 25 minutes of screen time per day. But it is nearly four hours less than the biggest screen-time consumers, Filipinos, who average nearly 11 hours every day.

On the whole, the biggest screen-time consumers are located in Asia and South America.

American teenagers spend more time looking at a screen than adults

According to a recent census by Commonsense Media, tweens spend an average of 4 hours and 44 minutes on their screens while teenagers spend an average of 7 hours and 22 minutes on theirs. And this doesn’t include any time on screens for homework.

This means, American teenagers consume over 10 more minutes of screen time per day than adults. While this doesn’t sound a lot, it translates to an extra 60.8 hours per year.

Which countries are spending the most time on their desktops and mobiles?

How do the top figures change when we look at desktop and mobile use?

The biggest desktop screen time consumers are South Africans who average 5 hours and 12 minutes of screen time on their computers each day. That said, South Africans are big screen-time consumers on their mobiles, too, averaging nearly 5 hours per day. This makes their total screen time each day 10 hours and 7 minutes.

Americans spend just less than four hours a day on their desktops (3 hours 58 minutes) and even less than this on their mobiles (3 hours and 18 minutes). Desktop consumption is even more dominant across the pond in the UK, too. Here, the average person spends 3 hours and 41 minutes looking at their desktop screen and 2 hours and 44 minutes looking at their mobile screens.

In the Philippines, where screen-time consumption is the highest in the world, the majority of this (almost 6 hours) is on mobiles. Brazilians also favor mobile screens (spending 5 hours and 17 minutes a day looking at them) as do the Thais (spending 5 hours and 7 minutes a day looking at them).

So, just how much time are we dedicating to our screens?

If the average person sleeps for 8 hours, this means we’re spending over 43 percent of our waking hours looking at a screen. Filipinos, however, are spending almost 70 percent of their wakeful hours on a computer or mobile. At the other end of the scale are the Japanese who spend 27.5 percent of their wakeful hours looking at a screen.

The average American spends over 2 hours a day on social media

Worldwide, the average person spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media each day. Americans consume less than this, averaging 2 hours and 7 minutes per day. And it’s perhaps no surprise that the biggest consumers overall are Filipinos.

But which country is spending the largest chunk of their screen time on social media?

The Egyptians spend the largest proportion of their daily screen time (40.79%) consuming social media. This is closely followed by Saudi Arabians (40.09%) and Emiratis (39.41%). These figures aren’t too far from the average, however (34.94%).

Just under 30 percent of Americans’ screen time is taken up with social media (2 hours and 7 minutes). This is slightly more than the British who consume 1 hour and 49 minutes of social media per day on average (this is just over 28 percent of their overall screen time).

American adults are also consuming more social media than American teenagers. According to the Commonsense Media census, teenagers spend 22 percent of their screen time looking at social channels, which equates to an hour and 40 minutes (approx.).

The high consumption of social media in Asian, Middle Eastern, and African countries is reflected in the large number of social media accounts people in these countries tend to have. With Indians having 11.4 accounts on average, it’s not hard to see why they need 2 hours and 25 minutes to digest all of the information on there! They are closely followed by those in the UAE (10.7 accounts), Indonesia (10.5), and Saudi Arabia (10.4).

The average person worldwide has 8.4 accounts, with both the United States (7.1) and United Kingdom (6.9) being below average.

82% of Americans stream TV on the internet

Another huge portion of screen time in most countries is dedicated to streaming TV. On average, 70 percent of people will use the internet to stream their favorite TV shows and movies.

Interestingly, the highest proportion of people using the internet to stream TV are located in Southern American countries and Mexico. 93, 91, 90, and 87 percent of Mexicans, Argentinians, Brazilians, and Colombians (respectively) use the internet for streaming TV content. And this coincides with our recent study – Which country is watching the most Netflix? – which found that Southern American countries binge the most content on this service.

The average user in all of the aforementioned countries has spent over 100,000 minutes binging Netflix since they first opened their account. This is over 38 percent more than the average user overall who has watched 67,796 minutes of Netflix. In the US, users have averaged 90,672 minutes of Netflix, 29 percent more than average.

How do your viewing habits compare?:Try our Time Spent Streaming tool


As you can see from the above table, there is little correlation (if any) between screen time amounts and internet speeds. Therefore, higher consumption isn’t necessarily caused by slow internet speeds and waiting for pages to load.


Using the data available from DataReportal.com, we looked at the varying screen times by device and activity to create viewing times for each country and to calculate the percentage of time people spend looking at their devices.