Average Human Attention Span By Age (Infographic)

Did you know that the average human attention span is just 8.25 seconds? (Shorter than a goldfish)

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
August 29th, 2022

Key Average Attention Span Statistics

Research has revealed that human beings are, indeed, lagging behind the goldfish in terms of being able to focus on a task or object.

  1. The average human has an attention span of just 8.25 seconds according to recent studies – 4.25 seconds less than in 2000.
  2. The average human attention span decreased by nearly 25% between 2000 and 2015, and now we’re lagging behind the goldfish (9 second attention span) in terms of our ability to focus on tasks or objects.
  3. The average teenager who is 14 years old has an attention span of 28 to 42 minutes according to developmental researchers.
  4. The average 16 year old has an attention span of 32 to 48 minutes.
  5. The humble goldfish has a 9 second attention span, which is higher than the average human has.
  6. 25% of teens forget important details of their close relatives and friends.
  7. 7% of people forget their own birthday occasionally.
  8. 39% of Americans have forgotten one basic piece of information or lose one item they use on a daily basis in the last week.
  9. On average, an office worker will check their email inbox 11 times an hour.
  10. The average person picks up their phone more than 1,500 times every week – that’s once every 5.5 minutes!
  11. The phone takes up, on average, 3 hours and 16 minutes of someone’s day.
  12. Users will read, at most, 28% of the words during an average visit of a web page, but 20% is more likely.
  13. The average page visit lasts less than 1 minute, and users typically leave web pages in only 10 to 20 seconds.
  14. The average amount of time someone watches an internet video is 2.7 minutes.
  15. 59% of senior executives prefer to watch a video than read text if they had the choice.
average attention span

What Is The Average Attention Span?

StatisticData
Average Human Attention Span8.25 seconds
Average Goldfish Attention Span9 seconds
% Of Teenagers Who Forget Important Info25%
% Of People Who Forget Their Birthdays7%
# Of Times Office Worker Checks Email11/hour
# Of Times People Pickup Their Phone1,500/week
Avg. Daily Phone Screen Time3 hours and 16 minutes
Avg. Internet Video Watch Time2.7 minutes
% Of Senior Executives Who Prefer Video59%
average attention span statistics

Average Attention Span Of A Human

The average human has an attention span of just 8.25 seconds according to recent studies – 4.25 seconds less than in 2000.

average human attention span

The average human attention span decreased by nearly 25% between 2000 and 2015.

And now we’re lagging behind the goldfish (9 second attention span) in terms of our ability to focus on tasks or objects.

Attention Spans by Age (Chart)

Childhood development experts usually say that an average attention to expect of a child is two to three minutes per year of their age. That's the length of time for which the average child can stay focused on a particular task.

Average Child's Attention Span: How Long Is A Child's Attention Span?

Age Average Attention Span
2 years old 4 to 6 minutes
3 years old 6 to 8 minutes
4 years old 8 to 12 minutes
5-6 years old 12 to 18 minutes
7-8 years old 16 to 24 minutes
9-10 years old 20 to 30 minutes
11-12 years old 25 to 35 minutes
13-15 years old 30 to 40 minutes
16+ years old 32 to 50+ minutes
  • 2 years old: 4 to 6 minutes
  • 3 years old: 6 to 8 minutes
  • 4 years old: 8 to 12 minutes
  • 5-6 years old: 12 to 18 minutes
  • 78 years old: 16 to 24 minutes
  • 910 years old: 20 to 30 minutes
  • 11-12 years old: 25 to 35 minutes
  • 13-15 years old: 30 to 40 minutes
  • 16+ years old: 32 to 50+ minutes

Some developmental researchers place the upper limit at five minutes per year of a child's age. For example, a 2-year-old child could be able to focus for up to 10 minutes at a time on a given task.

The amount of time a child is truly able to focus is greatly impacted by factors like their environment, the child's interest in the activity, and how many distractions they have.

Average Teenager Attention Span

Age Teenager Attention Span
14 years old 28 to 42 minutes
16 years old 32 to 48 minutes

The average teenager who is 14 years old has an attention span of 28 to 42 minutes according to developmental researchers. And the average 16 year old has an attention span of 32 to 48 minutes.

Extending A Child's Attention Span

Here are a few simple strategies that might help your child improve their focus:

  1. Allow your child to bring creativity to tasks they don't enjoy. For example, a child who dislikes social studies won't focus well on their social studies homework, so give him the opportunity to work out problems in finger paint first. And later on, copy the work onto the homework sheet.
  2. Let your child use fidgets. Fidgets are easily available for purchase, and can help kids stay active while focusing on their school work.
  3. Have frequent check-ins with your child. If your child feels overwhelmed or stuck on the project they're working on, they will get distracted quickly. The solution is to help them identify potential stumbling blocks when they begin each task. If question 7 seems especially confusing or challenging, for example, ask your child to start with that one and help your child figure out how to approach solving the problem.

Attention Span Of A Goldfish

The humble goldfish has a 9 second attention span, which is higher than the average human has.

average goldfish attention span

Forgetfulness Statistics

25% of teens forget important details of their close relatives and friends.

percentage of teenagers who forget important information

7% of people forget their own birthday occasionally.

percentage of people who forget their own birthday

39% of Americans have forgotten one basic piece of information or lose one item they use on a daily basis in the last week.

percent of Americans who forget something

Distraction Statistics

On average, an office worker will check their email inbox 11 times an hour.

number of times workers check email

The average person picks up their phone more than 1,500 times every week – that’s once every 5.5 minutes!

number of times people pickup their phone every week

The phone takes up, on average, 3 hours and 16 minutes of someone’s day.

number of hours people use their phone daily

Average Web Page Usage Duration

Users will read, at most, 28% of the words during an average visit of a web page, but 20% is more likely.

maximum percent of words read of web page

The average page visit lasts less than 1 minute, and users typically leave web pages in only 10 to 20 seconds.

length of average page visit

The average amount of time someone watches an internet video is 2.7 minutes.

average internet video watch time

59% of senior executives prefer to watch a video than read text if they had the choice.

percentage of senior executives who prefer video over reading text

The Good News For Marketers

Despite the average human having a very short attention span under 10 seconds, there are still ways to hold people’s attention in 2022.

In fact, according to Nielsen research, pages with a clear value proposition are able to hold people’s attention for much longer. Here are a few tips to implement into your marketing today:

  1. Make sure your messaging is short, sweet, clear, and easy to understand.
  2. Make sure it’s easy for your users to navigate around your site by polishing your UX.
  3. Tell stories to appeal to your consumer’s desires.
  4. Use rich media like videos and images to capture your user’s attention.
  5. Make sure your messaging is short, sweet, clear, and easy to understand.
  6. Make sure it’s easy for your users to navigate around your site by polishing your UX.
  7. Tell stories to appeal to your consumer’s desires.
  8. Use rich media like videos and images to capture your user’s attention.

Sources

  1. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-little-do-users-read/
  2. https://www.reviews.org/mobile/cell-phone-addiction/
  3. https://www.wyzowl.com/human-attention-span/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_span
  5. https://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/normal-attention-span-expectations-by-age
steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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