Larry Martino

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We all need to work to earn a living. We all need some down time to rest, relax, and recover. So which U.S. states offer the best work-life balance?

According to an article written by Assaf and posted on, they analyzed the data provided by the 2021 American Time Use Survey. Per Assaf’s article: “To qualify, respondents had to be employed, report time working, and have been interviewed about weekday activities. States with five or fewer respondents—Alaska, Delaware, and South Dakota—were disqualified.”

To determine the average number of hours people in a state spent working, surveyors gathered information such as the amount of time spent at the job, but also the time spent working from home, and travel time to and from work.

To determine the average number of hour respondents spent on leisure activities, surveyors gathered information on relaxing, socializing, playing sports, exercising, recreational activities, and the time spent traveling to and from social and sporting events.

Once they came up with the average number of hours worked by the respondents in a state, they divided that figure by the average number of hours spent doing leisure activities to come up with a final “Work-to-Leisure Ratio.” And, that’s how they finalized the rankings for states with the best work-life balance.

Incidentally, although the number of hours we sleep was not included in the “Work-to-Leisure Ratio” rankings, they did determine that respondents in most states surveyed reported getting eight or more hours of sleep per night. Do you think some respondents lied on that topic? If you would like to review the full report on, CLICK HERE.

I know you can’t wait to find out if our home state of Nevada ended up in the top five, so let’s see the results!


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

  • 5) Utah

    Red Rock Arches

    Our neighbors to the east, Utah, rank fifth in this study. Per the article: “State residents spend an average of 37.5 hours working, 3.46 enjoying leisure activities, and 8.36 hours sleeping.”

  • 4) Wyoming

    Mountain Stream in Yellowstone National Park

    Assaf’s article reports: “Residents of the Cowboy State apparently really like (or need!) their sleep, receiving a reported 9.1 hours per night on average. Wyomingites also work an average of 36.05 hours per week and have 3.54 leisure hours per weekday, which puts them in fourth place on our list.”

  • 3) Nevada

    Nevada casino roulette gaming table

    Our home state ranks third in this study, which claims: “Nevada residents spent a little more time working per week (38.55 hours) and a little less time on leisure activities (3.8 hours per day) than the two states ahead of them. Although Nevadans sleep a bit more than North Dakotans, their average 7.96 hours per night still comes up short compared to many other states.”

  • 2) North Dakota

    Mountain biking in North Dakota on the Maah Daah Hey trail

    Assaf’s article ranks one of the most northernmost states second, explaining: “North Dakota came in second for work-life balance with 38.1 average work hours per week and 3.91 leisure hours per weekday. Apparently North Dakotans prefer not to spend their free time snoozing, however, as they get less sleep per night (7.37 hours) than any other state in the top five.”

  • 1) Vermont

    Skiing on fresh powder snow in Stowe, Vermont

    We head to New England to find the top state in Assaf’s article: “Vermont made the top spot on our list of states with the best-work life balance. Vermonters not only spend less time working per week (35.65), but they also have more leisure hours per weekday (4.66) than the residents of other states. More middle-of-the-road in terms of sleep, Vermont residents report getting an average of 8.15 hours per night of shuteye.”