The Countries Where Men Do More Around the House

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Data show that households in several European countries divide housework up more fairly than those in the U.S. do.

Forget the wage gap for a minute. Let’s talk about the chore gap.

Using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, CNNMoney says there is no developed country where men do more housework than women. But there are a few places that come relatively close to dividing the chores equally, especially if you factor in how much men and women work outside the home. Here are the five countries with the greatest errand equality:

5. Norway. Scandinavian governments have tried to encourage a more equitable division of labor. For instance, new fathers are offered 10 weeks of paternity leave. Norwegian men do 44 percent of the housework — about three hours a day — including looking after the kids.

4. Netherlands. The Dutch are known for a four-day workweek and they take work-life balance pretty seriously. But men still somehow end up doing nearly an hour less of chores per day than women on average — about 3½.

3. Belgium. The men here average 27 hours of paid work per week, and spend 23 hours doing chores. Yet women manage to work 48 minutes more. (Backward, in high heels?)

2. Sweden. About 78 percent of Swedish women have work outside the home, which helps explain why men do 46 percent of the housework. After Iceland, Sweden has the largest share of women in the workforce.

1. Denmark. The average Danish man handles 47 percent of the household chores. He spends 3 hours and 37 minutes per day cooking, cleaning and caring for the family — and if you include paid work, the men put in more hours than Danish women. That’s apparently as close as it gets to equality.

So how does the U.S. stack up? According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, we rank No. 14.

Stacy Johnson

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