Research shows that your income and your hobbies might be more related than you think.
An FKD Feature exclusive

Outside of work, you’re free to spend your time however you like. However, with hobbies, there’s an extent to which everyone is restricted by the resources that they have, whether they be energy, time or money. How exactly does your income impact what you spend your free time on? The answers may surprise you.

Different income, different activities

It should come as no surprise that income is a factor in what you spend your time on. Every day of your life comes with a slew of decisions on how you’re going to spend your money, and your time, and those two things are closely intertwined.

Some hobbies cost more than others, and how expensive a hobby is can be a deterrent for those who have less cash to spend on their free time. Not everyone has money to burn on, say, golfing. But most hobbies don’t have a significant paywall to overcome. Sports, reading and dancing are just a small sample of hobbies that would be easily accessible to people of all income brackets.

What’s interesting about this topic is how income impacts the choice of what people spend their free time on. Data accumulated on this topic has shown some surprising results.

The data speaks for itself

According to the American Time Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can get a good, sizeable snapshot of which income brackets enjoy which hobbies. Some hobbies, such as hunting, dancing and playing sports, are evenly distributed across all income brackets, meaning that they appeal to income levels across the board.

Some activities were found to be enjoyed heavily by the richer and poorer ends of the spectrum. Golfing, racquet sports and attending performing arts are shown by the data to be predominantly enjoyed by richer-than-average participants. In contrast, poorer-than-average participants dominated the hobbies of tobacco and drug use, listening to the radio and religious TV.

So, are we really that predictable?

In regards to certain activities, income can be a solid indicator for the choices people make in selecting the hobbies they enjoy outside of work. Golfing being enjoyed by richer-than-average people shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. However, the fact that an overwhelming number of poorer participants cited religious TV as one of their hobbies does speak volumes.

It’s important to note that income isn’t the only factor that can affect the hobbies you choose to enjoy. Time, energy, political alignments and social activity are all potential factors that can determine how you’re choosing to spend your free time, and these factors are also important to take into account. However, the findings of this study still serve to give us a fascinating lens into how the money you make impacts the hobbies you choose to enjoy.


While income isn’t the only factor that impacts what hobbies people choose to enjoy, the data gathered on this subject does provide some valuable insights.  Regardless of how you spend your free time, one thing’s for sure: we could all use some more of it.

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Header image: Adobe Stock


Posted 07.21.2017 - 01:35 pm EST