Pennsylvania Eats Dinner Earlier Than Other States in the United States
According to research data from FlowingData.com Pennsylvania eats dinner earlier than other states. Around the world, people eat dinner at all different hours. In Italy, dinner isn’t really starting until 8:30 pm for most. While in Spain and Portugal, dinner doesn’t happen until 9 pm or later. In the United States, people might consider that a late-night snack! Those times just don’t work for the average American dinner time, but it seems things differ in all 50 states.
Over at Flowing Data, they took results from a survey that ran from 2018 through 2022 to reach their findings. The average time they found was 6:19 pm for Americans to begin eating dinner. Pennsylvanians begin the list with the earliest average dinner time, being 5:37 pm. Texas and Mississippi have the latest start times for their dinners, both average 7:02 pm start times.
Why are we eating so early in Pennsylvania? Is 5:37 pm even that early? I prefer between 5:30p & 6:30p for at-home meals, but if I’m going to go out to dinner I like it to be after 7 pm. It feels more like a night out if it’s post-7 pm. I say that while currently trying to have dinner ready by 5 pm or just after because of the 6-year-old, 3-year-old, and 9-month-old in my house. Dinner on the table by 5 pm or 5:15 pm gives the boys enough time to tell me they don’t like what I made four or five times, then still play outside after begrudgingly eating a few bites. It’s also right around the time the 9-month-old gets hungry and a bit whiny. It’s all about the kids! What about the parents? Who cares!
Here are my two best guesses for why Pennsylvania eats dinner earliest:
- Our state is full of elderly people who are getting to bed shortly after dinner.
- Our state is full of young families pumping out kids that need to eat early before they lose their minds.
Either way, we’re first, and if I’ve learned anything from a documentary I once watched, “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”
You can check out the full rundown and chart here.