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18+ Teen & Kids Screen Time Statistics (2022): Avg. Screen Time for Teens vs. Recommendations

Last updated: 2 months ago
4 min read

An average adolescent spends around 7.5 hours every day looking at the screen.

Learn about:

  • What are the screen time recommendations for kids and teenagers
  • How much time do adolescents spend on their phones and in front of the TV
  • How did the pandemic influence screen time in adolescents

Are you curious to know what age group has the highest screen time?

More on that in the article below.

Kid in front of the screen

Teen & Kids Screen Time Statistics (2022)

What’s the average screen time for teenagers

What’s the average screen time for kids

What’s the recommended screen time by age

How much time does an average teenager spend on social media

How much time does an average teenager spend on phone

How much time do kids spend watching TV

Worrying Kids and Teen Screen Time Statistics

  • The recommended daily screen time is 2 hours, with children under 18 months having no screen time at all.
  • On average, adolescents spend 7.5 hours per day in front of the screen.
  • 51% of American kids are allowed to have a daily screen time higher than 3 hours.
  • During the pandemic, 51% of adolescents admit to watching more online video content than before.
  • The average teenager spends 7 hours and 22 minutes on his phone every day.

What’s the average screen time for teenagers?

Average adolescent has a daily screen time of 7.5 hours

US teenagers between 11 to 14 years old spend 9 hours in front of the screen daily.

Age groupAverage daily
screen time
8-10 years6 hours
11-14 years9 hours
15-18 years7.5 hours
(CDC)

What’s the average screen time for kids?

Kids between ages 0 to 8 have on average 2.5 hours of screen time.

Between ages 8-10, US kids spend 6 hours a day in front of a screen.

Average screen time between age groups (0-10 years)

(Source: CDC)

More concerning is the data on toddlers, where only 1-year-olds spend 53 minutes on average looking at the screen daily.

Two-year-olds and below had an average of 49 minutes of screen time, whereas kids between 2-4 years averaged 2.5 hours per day.

3-year-olds have around 150 minutes of daily screen time, and the ones between 5-8 years had 3+ hours on average.

Interestingly, the kids between 7-8 years had only 90 minutes of daily screen time.

Age groupAverage daily
screen time
0-2 years49 minutes
1-2 years53 minutes
2-4 years2.5 hours
5-8 years3+ hours
7-8 years1.5 hours
8-10 years6 hours
(Albany) (Babycenter)

51% of American parents allow children to spend more than 3 hours per day in front of a screen.

Screen time allowed by parents

Outside of homework, 15% of children were allowed to have less than an hour of screen time, whereas 34% had 1-2 hours.

Screen time
allowed by parents
Percentage of kids
Less than an hours15%
1-2 hours34%
3 hours or more51%
(eMarketer)

85% of British mothers admitted using technology to keep their kids aged 2-12 occupied.

35% of parents use gadgets to entertain their kids, while 23% say they allow gadgets because they want their kids to master using technology.

(Tech Advisor)

What’s the recommended/healthy screen time for a teenager?

Children aged 5-17 shouldn’t have more than 2 hours of screen time per day, according to OSF Healthcare.

Recommended screen time for teens is 2 hours per day

Homework isn’t included.

(OSF Healthcare)

Recommended screen time, from toddlers to teenagers.

Recommendations according to OSF Healthcare and Screentime.

Age groupRecommended
screen time
0-18 monthsNo screen time
18-24 monthsFew hours a week
2-5 years1 hour per weekday
Up to 3 hours on weekends
5-17 years2 hours per day
(Screentime) (OSF Healthcare)

75% of 2-year-olds and 67% of 2–5-year-olds spend more time in front of the screen than it’s recommended.

(Bloomberg)

Most of the child’s screen time represents watching TV at 73%.

Children’s daytime
activities in front
of the screen
Percentage
Watching TV73%
Gaming16%
Reading3%
Homework1%
Video-chatting1%
Other6%
(Babycenter)

Studies have shown that kids under the age of 2 don’t learn much from watching videos.

It appears that while they’re captivated by what they see on screen, they don’t understand the context. Meaning that watching TV doesn’t bring any benefit to them.

(Health Matters)

How much time does the average teenager spend on social media?

In 2018, youngsters between the ages of 16-24 spend on average 3 hours and 1 minute per day browsing social media.

(DIW)

A 2015 study found that teenagers between 8 and 18 years spent 7 hours per day consuming entertainment media, including social media platforms.

(Common Sense)

During Covid-19, around 51% of youngsters aged 8-23 admit to watching more online video content.

38% of them watch more online TV/streaming services.

Children’s activityIncrease during pandemic
Video games31%
Music streaming28%
Broadcast TV24%
Online press21%
Books/literature18%
Radio17%
Livestreams17%
Podcasts11%
None of these10%
Physical press9%
(Frankwbaker)

What are the consequences of using social media?

Higher social media screen time correlates to a higher likeliness of depression in teenagers.

The UK study shows that girls are especially vulnerable when exposed to too much screen time on social media.

Daily time spent
on social media
Likeliness of
depression in
GIRLS
Likeliness of
depression in
BOYS
0 hours11%7%
Less than
1 hour
15%7%
1-3 hours18%7%
3-5 hours25%11%
More than
5 hours
38%15%
(Washington Post)

How much time does the average teenager spend on their phone?

An average teen spends around 7 hours and 22 minutes daily on their mobile devices.

Between ages 8 to 12, an average person spends slightly less at 4 hours and 44 minutes per day.

Average daily
mobile screen time
Average teen7h 22min
Tweens between
8-12 years
4h 44min
(Common Sense 2)

In the 18–24-years age group, smartphone penetration was the highest at 94% in 2018.

(Deloitte)

How much time does the average teenager spend on their phone as opposed to recommended time?

An average teenager spends around 7 hours and 22 minutes per day on the phone, whereas recommended screen time is set at no more than two hours max.

Even tweens use their smartphones too much at 4 hours and 44 minutes per day.

(Common Sense 2) (OSF Healthcare)

How much time do kids spend watching TV?

On average, kids between the ages of 8 to 18 spend 4.5 hours per day watching TV.

Average TV screen time among teenagers

Here’s a table of an overall screen time by kids age group:

Age groupAverage TV
screen time
8-10 years4 hours
11-14 years5 hours
15-18 years4.5 hours
8-18 years4.5 hours
(CDC)

In 2010, 3 out of 10 kids said they have rules about watching TV and other media.

28% had strict time limits on watching TV, 30% on playing video games, and 36% on computer use.

Restrictions on:Percentage of kids
with restrictions
TV watching28%
Video games30%
Computer use36%
(KFF)

Kids with restrictions had, on average, 2 hours and 52 minutes less screen time than kids without restrictions.

(KFF)

How much TV do kids and teenagers watch as opposed to recommended time?

On average, kids and teenagers watch 4.5 hours of TV per day, whereas the recommended screen time is 2 hours max per day.

That means kids and teenagers watch 180% more TV than the CDC recommended time.

(CDC)

Conclusion

There were the latest screen time facts and statistics. In general, adolescents spend way above the recommended time in front of screens. And the pandemic only made things worse.

Have you expected such excessive screen time consumption? What is your daily screen time? If you have kids, do they have screen time restrictions?

Please let us know in the comments below.

Sources: CDC, Albany, Babycenter, eMarketer, Tech Advisor, OSF Healthcare, Screentime, Health Matters, DIW, Common Sense, Common Sense 2, Frankwbaker, Deloitte, KFF, Bloomberg, Washington Post

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