No Vacation Nation

AP US Government and Politics

How many paid holidays and vacation days does the U.S. government mandate by law?


AP US Government and Politics

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was most surprising about this information?

  3. What is the big story this chart tells?

  4. Why do you think the US has such a low level of vacation time compared to all other wealthy nations?

  5. What is one consequence of not having any mandated paid vacation time?

  6. Overall, is this good or bad news?

  7. What about U.S. history or the U.S. political system help explain why we are so different in terms of time off from the rest of the wealthy world?

  8. If workers get paid time off, who pays for it?

  9. Do you consider countries like Norway, Germany, or Sweden, all which get over 25 paid days off a year, to be lazy or economically weak countries?

  10. What questions do you have about this chart and information?

  11. Describe the different ways liberals and  conservatives might react to this chart:

  12. In the comments section, Based on paid vacation time, explain which country from this list would you most like to live in:

Learning Extension

You can read the entire report on our non-vacation nation from the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Action Extension

Contact your congressional representative and let them know what you think about the fact that the U.S. is the only economically advanced nation that gets 0 paid vacation time.

Bonus Chart For Absolutely No Good Reason

AP US Government and Politics

Math and Science Phone Home

Compared to the rest of the world, how do US high school students do on math & science tests?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. Overall, how did the US do?

  4. Why do you think that is?

  5. What is one consequence of the American scores on science and math tests?

  6. Does this really matter?

  7. If the US is so bad at math and science then why do students from all over the world come her to study science and math in the world's best universities?

  8. Overall, do you see any patterns in who did well and who did poorly?

  9. What questions do you have about this?

  10. What's up with the British saying "maths?"

  11. In the comments section below, write one solution you would propose to raise US math and science scores:

Learning Extension

Read the entire Pew report on U.S. science and math scores.

Action Extension

Contact your state or school district superintendent, share this chart and information with them, and then explain to them whether this is something they should worry about or not.