Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

The Time Problem - Part 1 (Data)

So, I'm too geeked about this data to write a full post before sharing, so I figured I'd split this post up into a few parts. 

Here's the context:

I've been really fascinated by "The Time Problem" (my words, nothing official) in civic engagement. It seems like time is a limiting factor for a lot of people when it comes to citizens participating in their communities. So, I wanted to investigate this to see how we use time and how we use time is changing.

Thankfully, the American Time Use Study has some of this data. I also wanted to run some calculations to try to account for the effects of changes in the number of non-profits, population, GDP, etc., so I built a few other datasets into my spreadsheet.

Anyway, I figured I'd share the dataset before writing a post with observations. You can find it here: It's currently editable so please note your changes if you make any. Also, apologies in advance, I didn't name my calculations / variables terribly clearly but if you follow the formulas you should be able to figure out what's going on.

Full disclosure: there datasets are definitely imperfect (GDP is not Real GDP, the NFP count data isn't pulled from the same months each year, it's not a large dataset etc.). That being said, I only wanted to look at trends and am doing the best I can with the dog food I have. I think it will be interesting, regardless...I'm already starting to see some interesting stuff in the data.

In the next post - hopefully later this week - I'll talk more about my hypothesis, the data, and some observations.

Probably should have done some work this evening instead of be a huge nerd. Woops.