Those Germans ... how they tick | All about those Germans | DW | 21.11.2012
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Those Germans

Those Germans ... how they tick

How many hours does a German sleep on average? How much time is spent with the family or at the office? Do Germans have more children or pets? To find out here is a typical day of average German Claudia Müller.*

6:18 a.m.
Claudia Müller has been asleep for seven hours and four minutes. She's hit the snooze button a few times to postpone the moment when she has to get up. But the time has come. She shrugs off her duvet and gets out of bed.

Woman in bed being woken by an alarm clock

In Germany on average the night ends at 6:18 a.m.

7:00 a.m.
After 26 minutes in the bathroom, she's feeling a little perkier. Freshly showered, Claudia Müller sits down at the kitchen table to enjoy her first cup of coffee of the day. Until this ritual has been completed, the working day can't begin. She also eats a piece of bread and jam. By now, Claudia's husband Thomas, her daughter, Anna, and the family's pet cat are up too.

7:20 a.m.
It takes Claudia 21 minutes to get to work, depending on how bad the traffic is. Keen to beat the worst of it, she leaves in a hurry. Even though gas prices are soaring in Germany and everyone these days is well aware that car emissions are exacerbating climate change, Claudia Müller prefers driving to work in her Volkswagen to taking the bus or the train.

8 a.m.
Claudia Müller works in a service company. If she regularly came to work late, her boss would start to raise his eyebrow. She saves herself the bother of a confrontation with her superior and makes sure she's punctual.

Road with heavy traffic Foto: Emily Wabitsch dpa

Often the working day begins on a congested road

10:40 a.m.
Over her second - and last - coffee of the day, Claudia Müller has a chat with her colleagues. She tells them about her beach holiday in Spain and they fill her in on what's been happening while she was away. An office romance has been brewing. The two lovebirds aren't the only ones to flirt in the workplace - in Germany, approximately 30 percent of couples meet at work.

12:30 p.m.
Claudia Müller is happy with her job - but she's not a big fan of the work cafeteria. The food is greasy and not very fresh. Her favorite dishes, spaghetti Bolognese and schnitzel with mushroom sauce, are rarely on the menu, so Claudia usually brings a sandwich from home. She spends 36 minutes on her lunch break.

Pen resting on a tax declaration form Foto: Jens Büttner +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++ pixel

Germans earn an average of 2,469 euros every month

3 p.m.
Claudia Müller always gives her best at work. So she doesn't feel bad about taking care of a few private matters while she's in the office. She surfs the Internet a bit and calls the tax office to complain about the amount of tax she's expected to deduct from her monthly salary of 2,469 euros.

5 p.m.
It's time to go home! But once there, Claudia Müller spends almost an hour doing housework before she finally gets to put her feet up.

6:30 p.m.
It takes her just over half an hour to make the evening meal. But at least she no longer has to spend 43 minutes helping her children with homework, which is the German average. At 16 years old, Anna doesn't need her help any more.

7:30 p.m.
The average German has 249 Facebook friends and spends about 135 minutes a day online. But Claudia Müller still prefers to chat with her family and closest friends on the phone. She spends 30 minutes catching up with them.

Young couple with computer © nyul #22598297

Germans spend an average of 135 minutes a day surfing the Internet.

8 p.m.
Claudia Müller is forever resolving to do more exercise after work. But Germany has an average temperature of just 8.2 degrees Celsius, so the thought of jogging isn't always too enticing. Instead, Claudia settles down with her husband in front of the television and enjoys a 0.3-liter bottle of beer while she watches….

8:15 p.m.
... her favorite show: "Tatort." It's Germany'smost popular weekly television crime series.

11 p.m.

Claudia Müller gets ready for bed - where on average twice a week, she and her husband will rumple the sheets. She also spends an average seven minutes reading a book. Maybe her bedtime reading includes Thomas Mann, but maybe not. The average German claims to have read him but this is perhaps a moot point.


Claudia Müller is fast asleep and having weird dreams about her day in the office.

*The majority of statistics in this article are based on figures released by the German Federal Statistical Office. Based on those figures the name of our average German, Claudia Müller, really consists of the most common first and family names in Germany.