Hobbies for the poor, hobbies for the rich

This post discusses data that supports the difference in the practice of hobbies based on social class, education, and economic resources.

In the 2015 survey of cultural habits in Spain, a relationship is observed between the level of schooling and cultural activities such as going to museums, seeing monuments, going to libraries or going to concerts or the cinema, or surfing the Internet, this being especially evident when comparing the people who did not complete basic studies with the rest. People with a higher level of schooling practiced more cultural activities.

In a 2011-12 health survey in Spain, a sedentary lifestyle is more evident in people with less income and those with a lower educational level. Physical activity in leisure time ranges from 12% in people with the lowest economic levels compared to 36% in those with the highest income and from 8% in people with primary education or less to 27% in university students. Physical activity at work in the employed male population ranges from 65% at a lower economic level compared to 15% in higher education and 38% at a low educational level compared to 8% in university students. In children, the fact that children of people with primary education or less watch much more TV than university students, without this relationship being so evident in the use of the Internet or video games. They comment that “a gradient was observed according to income level and according to social class in compliance with the recommendations of maximum time in front of a screen.” There is also a relationship between social class and regular physical activity in free time, being lower in the lowest, 9%, compared to 18% in the highest. There was a clear difference in action between boys, much older, and girls.

A study in the USA of nearly 1000 subjects in 1979 where, among other aspects, the relationship with hobbies is specifically analyzed suggests that only some, such as sewing, collecting, and studying, are related to social class. The most related element to the type of hobby was the level of education. In general, participation in leisure activities is lower in the lower social groups.

In a survey in the USA in 1990, the poor watched more TV, did much fewer sports activities, and watched sports or art shows. This has been related to several factors: development of tastes and culture, access limitations, money, and time.

In the 2017 survey of habits in the USA, the poor spend much more time watching TV and less time participating in sports or exercising; they read less, play games, and use the computer more. There is the parallelism concerning data about the level of education. Hobbies that the rich practice a lot and the poor practice a little are golf, racket sports, or going to see art shows; at a medium level are skating, walking, or playing basketball.

In a world survey of subjective well-being, it is pointed out that leisure can play, among other factors, a role in the quality of life of different nations, said leisure being less in those with less well-being and more significant in those with more well-being.

From the data discussed, although the review is brief and incomplete, it can be deduced that there is a difference in the use of leisure time and activities compatible with hobbies based on social class, basically determined by economic and educational level. The poorest and least educated enjoy hobbies less, including those that involve physical activity, and, in part, their health may be worse.


In our opinion, all people should have equitable access to health and education and the excellent use of leisure, including hobbies. However, as a partial solution to the lower access and use of hobbies by the most disadvantaged,d and as discussed in the post on cheap hobbies, many such hobbies can be affordable for people with scarce economic or educational resources. Iessentialrtant to educate them, encourage them to carry them out, and facilitate their access.

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