Quids in for Kids

Quids in for Kids

  • Lucky tykes: just over half (53%) of UK parents* give their children (17yrs or under) pocket money
  • More than just loose change: the average UK parent gives each child just over £360 a year in pocket money**
  • 84 per cent of UK parents (who give their children pocket money) expect their children to ‘earn’ their pocket money by helping with chores around the house (66%) and tidying their room (70%)
  • Street children around the world expected to work hard to have any money and often use their earnings to support themselves and other family members

In association with the charity, Street Kids International UK, Opinium Research’s new findings reveal that while some may think pocket money is a special treat, many children in the UK are being given pocket money week on week.

Opinium Research’s recent study has found that just over half (53%) of UK parents and/or their partners give their children pocket money. This figure rises to two thirds of parents (67%) with children between the ages of 7 -10yrs or 14-15 years and an astonishing three quarters of parents (74%) with 11-13 year old children.

Opinium Research discovered that British parents give every one of their children an average of £7 per week, which adds up to each kid collecting over £360 a year**. This is a stark contrast to the street kids around the world of the same age who have to work hard to earn any money at all – in some countries it could take up to a week for a street youth to earn £7.

84 per cent of parents who offer pocket money expect their children to ‘earn’ it in various ways, for example by doing household chores (66%) and even their homework (38%), which some may assume would already be a child’s responsibility. In comparison street children across the globe who are linked to homes, would be presumed to carry out household tasks regardless of an incentive and this would be on top of the expectation to earn income on the street to contribute to the household budget.

While street children typically use any income they generate for basic requirements such as food and shelter for themselves and/or family members, British children, by and large, squander their pocket money on luxuries. For example, half (50%) of kids spend their allowance on sweets and chocolate, over a quarter (29%) spend it on toys and just over a third (37%) spend it on electronic entertainments (e.g. DVDs and video games).

Philippa Frankl, Executive Director of Street Kids International UK, comments: “Children in the UK are very fortunate to receive pocket money so readily from their parents and to not need to always work in order to have any cash to spend. On April 12th, Street Kids International UK is holding an event to raise awareness of the tough decisions street children around the world face every day, as a generous volunteer will try to break the Guinness World Record for shining the most shoes in eight hours. Shining shoes is one of the jobs children on the streets often end up in and we hope the event will shed a light on this.”

James Endersby, Managing Director of Opinium Research, adds: “While it makes perfect sense for parents in the UK, who have the means, to provide their children with pocket money and for their kids to spend it on whatever they want, it is always important for people to remain aware of those who are not in the same position.”

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,011 people aged 18+. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria
*Results based on 587 UK adults with children aged 17yrs and under were surveyed from 9th March to 12th March 2012.
**£7 per week x 52 weeks (in a year) = £364

About Street Kids International

Street Kids International is a global organisation with a local approach. We give street and marginalised youth the chance to earn a decent living and to participate in their local community and economy. We do this by developing and delivering training and tools that support these young people to build businesses and start planning for a positive future. We believe in the potential and capacity of street youth, it is our aim to unlock this potential and to empower the world’s street youth to take control of their own lives.

About the Street Shine World Record Attempt 12th April

To claim the Guinness World Record, a volunteer will shine over 200 pairs of shoes in 8 hours.
We are doing this to mark the International Day for Street Children and to raise awareness of the millions of young people forced by circumstances to earn a living on the streets around the world.

This survey is conducted online by CAWI (computer aided web interviewing), using Opinium’s online research panel of circa 35,000 individuals. This research is run from a representative sample of UK adults (aged 18+ in England, Scotland and Wales). The sample is scientifically defined from pre-collected registration data containing gender, age (18-34, 35-54, and 55+), region (North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), working status and social grade to match the latest published ONS figures.

Opinium also takes into account differential response rates from the different demographic groups, to ensure the sample is representative.