The Shocking Reason Why Pennsylvanians Eat Dinner Earlier Than Any Other State
It turns out that Pennsylvanians eat dinner earlier than any other state in the country, and before we dig into the data (below), can we all agree:
Let's change this, right?
So apparently the average American household eats dinner at 6:19 pm, a new study has found. That same study, however, found that the average Pennsylvania household starts eating dinner at 5:37 pm.
In fact, that's the earliest average dinner time in the entire country, apparently.
And, by the way, since 5:37 pm is the AVERAGE dinner time that means that there are a LOT of people eating dinner (daily) before 5:30 pm? I think that's how math works.
The surprisingly interesting analysis came from researcher Nathan Yau who looked at data from the American Time Use Survey (from 2018 through 2022). He published his findings on FlowingData.com.
New Jersey's Average Dinner Time
New Jersey's average dinner time is smack in the middle of this, by the way. The Garden State's average dinner time is around 6:17 pm.
I can respect that. At least it's closer to normal.
Washington, D.C. eats dinner at the latest (around 7:10 pm), by the way.
So like, as a Pennsylvanian, I felt both vindicated and frustrated reading this survey. I've long said that we need to keep some restaurants open later in the state. It seems like when I want to eat dinner after 9 pm it's slim pickings, and I live in the city of Philadelphia.
Why Does Pennsylvania Have Such an Early Dinner Time?
Why are we eating so early, Pennsylvania? One theory is how old we are.
The Inquirer explored this. They noted that we have the eighth-highest age of residents. However, states like Florida and Vermont have higher median ages and their dinner times are later.
I don't really care WHY we're eating so early, but can we all make a pact to at least explore eating closer to 6 pm? It's tough!