Thanks to COVID-19-related safety measures and related restrictions, 2020 will go down as the year people stayed home.

Ray Kruse even saw evidence in the questions people asked.

“I had a shift in questions last year to more people being interested in putting in raised beds in Dubuque County for raising food,” said Kruse, coordinator of food systems and Master Gardener programs for Iowa State University Outreach and Extension in Dubuque County.

Kruse said gardening seemed like a helpful activity for people kept at home in 2020.

“Gardening has been associated with multiple benefits, such as increased physical exercise and self-worth,” Kruse said. “From other reports, I have heard these two aspects of people’s lives have been dwindling with the result of our sedimentary and isolated society as a result of the pandemic. Anybody who had some type of garden yield produced by their efforts, or felt better about caring for something they grew, will feel inclined to continue gardening.”

Many kids learned remotely and many parents worked away from the office — two changes in routine that influenced home life —and prompted specialists to respond to inquiries about what to do with the increased time spent living under one roof.

“Our Science of Parenting team has provided extra podcast episodes throughout 2020 to address relevant parenting topics, and our Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth Facebook page continues to provide ideas and resources for family time and family communications,” said Danielle Day, Dubuque County Extension’s human sciences specialist.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at how Americans’ home lives changed in 2020, based upon a survey commissioned by Whirlpool Corporation.


Percentage of U.S. adults who said they spent more time at home in 2020.


The number of additional hours these adults spent at home compared to 2019.

Most-popular hobbies or skills respondents reported learning or adopting during the pandemic. By percentage, these skills were cooking (29%), gardening (23%) and drawing/painting (23%).


Percentage of respondents who reported cooking together more as a household during the pandemic. An estimated 36 million Americans are cooking together more.


Number of Americans in millions estimated to have taken up a new hobby or skill since the beginning of the pandemic.


Number of American households in millions estimated to have made chores more of a joint effort among household members in 2020.


Percentage of people sharing chores who say laundry is the most-common shared chore.


Percentage of people sharing chores who say cooking is more of a commonly shared chore.


Percentage of respondents saying they feel closer to friends and family.


Percentage of respondents reporting that they want to maintain positive changes they made in their home lives after the pandemic.


Average monthly spending on the home during 2020, according to a survey by Bank of America. The average monthly home spending was $1,831 in 2019. The survey found that 64% of respondents had changed their spending habits during the pandemic.


Average monthly spending on entertainment per month in 2020, according to the Bank of America survey. The average monthly figure was $120 in 2019.