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Girls, Asians, wealthier kids, and only children do more homework

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, January-December 2015, sample n = 1,628 Australians aged 10-13

Aussie tweens aged 10-13 now spend an average four hours a week doing homework – 40 minutes more than in 2007, Roy Morgan’s latest Young Australians Survey shows. The more studious kids include those in high-income homes, kids without any distracting siblings, girls, and those with an Asian background. 

In 2015, the average Australian tween aged 10 to 13 spent 37 minutes on a typical weekday and nearly an hour on weekends doing homework—for a total of four hours per week. But the amount of time Aussie tweens spend hitting the books varies markedly depending on sex, ethnicity, household wealth, and how many other kids are in the home.

Tween girls do almost an hour’s more homework during the week than boys. Girls spend 4 hours: 25 minutes on average, compared with boys’ 3 hours 35 minutes.

The stereotype appears to ring true for tweens with an Asian background (in this case, where our main Single Source respondent aged 14+ in the home was born in Asia). Australia’s Asian 10-13 year-olds spend a little over six hours on homework a week—around two hours more than average. Kids with an English-speaking family background from New Zealand, UK, Ireland, USA or Canada spend around half an hour less per week doing homework, while those from elsewhere (including mainland Europe, Africa, South America, and the Middle East), spend around half an hour more. 

Average time that Australian kids 10-13 spend doing homework during the week

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, January-December 2015, sample n = 1,628 Australians aged 10-13   

Two other determinants of homework time shown above come from the tween’s household situation: number of siblings and household income.

Homework time decreases by around half an hour for each sibling aged 6-13 in the home: tweens without any siblings spend an average 4 hours 25 minutes doing homework during the week; those with one average 3 hours 55 minutes; add another sibling, and it drops again to 3 hours 30 minutes; and tweens with three or more siblings also scampering around the house average just three hours of homework a week.  

Increasing household income also adds to tweens’ homework time. Tweens in top-earning homes with an annual gross income over $200Kpa spend an average 4 hours and 35 minutes per week doing homework—over an hour more than those in low income homes.

Michele Levine – CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The amount of time Aussie 10-13 year-olds spend doing homework each week has been creeping higher over the past eight years. Homework now takes up an average four hours a week, around 40 minutes more than in 2007.

“Gender, ethnic background, household size and household wealth all affect how much time tweens spend doing homework. Other factors, which often relate to household income, include geography and whether both parents work full-time.

“Tweens in capital cities do around an hour and a half more homework during the week than those in country areas and, perhaps contrary to what one might assume, those with both parents working full-time actually do around 20 minutes a week more homework than average.

“As well as four hours of homework, the average Aussie tween’s week is taken up by just over 12 hours of watching TV, 10.5 hours of home internet use, and almost 5.5 hours of playing computer or console games.”  

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2