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Starting the pay gap? Image courtesy of HootLoot.

Every year Halifax surveys thousands of children, and their parents, about everything to do with their pocket money. A seemingly tiny issue, they have found it to be deeply interwoven with broader economic and social trends. The average amount of pocket money a child receives in the UK is £6.55, the highest level since 2007 and the beginning of the credit crunch. Whilst I’m not sure the government should base their new economic plans on this data, it’s an interesting method of measuring the country’s economic health. I still probably wouldn’t use it to forecast the future!

But this isn’t the only trend they’ve found. This year, boys between 8 and 16 received an average of £6.93, whilst girls of the same age got a £6.16 average. What makes this finding striking is that this year’s 13% gender gap is a significant upward leap from last year’s 2% gap. Society is unlikely to have significantly shifted in the space of a single year, so what can account for such a dramatic shift in the pocket money pay gap?

Not surprisingly, nearly 40% of children said that they thought they should get more money. But there was a significant difference, with boys far more likely than girls to complain and ask their parents to increase their pocket money. This has been widely found in adulthood, with significant gender gaps in the number of people willing to ask for a pay rise or negotiate over their salary. It appears that this pattern starts far younger than was expected.

-Claire Parker
Junior Girl
Girls Museum Inc.

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