Half of children own mobile by seven and average pocket money is £11.50 a week, report reveals

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 January 2020

More younger children now own phones. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/dolgachov

More younger children now own phones. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/dolgachov


Half of children now own a mobile by the age of seven, a Norwich-based survey has revealed.

The 2020 CHILDWISE Monitor Report looked at five to 16-year-olds' media consumption, buying and social habits and found that more than half of the 2,167 children surveyed (53pc) owned a mobile phone by age of seven.

Simon Leggett, CHILDWISE research director, said: "Mobile phones have won over tablet computers and now dominate children's lives. It can be tough to parent your young child's use of technology when the mobile phone is such a private and personal technology that most keep, literally, close to their chest.

More younger children now own phones. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/AndreyPopovMore younger children now own phones. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/AndreyPopov

"This year, young children have increasing access to mobile phones and they are using them for longer periods of time. With the majority of children now phone owners by age seven, average daily usage among seven-10-year-olds has gone up almost an hour a day."

Swedish YouTuber, Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Nick Ansell.Swedish YouTuber, Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Nick Ansell.

Other key findings were:

TikTok, the social media app, on an iPhone. Picture: Sarah RavencroftTikTok, the social media app, on an iPhone. Picture: Sarah Ravencroft

-The number of five-10-year-olds who own a mobile phone increased to 47pc from 38pc last year;

A child collecting pocket money. Picture: ArchantA child collecting pocket money. Picture: Archant

-More than two out of three children now have their own handset;

-The amount of time children spend online has increased with boys remaining heavier internet users than girls. Children now spend 3.4 hours a day online rising from 3.3 hours last year;

-71pc of young people access the internet via mobile phone;

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-One in four children (26pc) spend four-six hours a day online which was up from 24pc last year;

-YouTube continues to be children's favourite website/app with 61pc of children use YouTube every day;

-Swedish gamer PewDiePie topped the list of young people's favourite You Tubers;

-Stranger Things on Netflix came out on top as children and teenagers' favourite show followed by Friends;

-Mobile video app TikTok has tripled in popularity this year with one in 10 naming it as their favourite;

-Children's total spending power in the UK is £7.79m per year.

Mr Leggett added: "Video sites, such as YouTube, remain children's favourite type of websites or app. The number of children naming social networking sites, such as Instagram, as their favourite has increased this year and is now one in five. Girls choose these sites more than boys. Almost one in five seven-16-year-olds choose an instant messaging/chat website or app as their favourite. Fewer children choose a games website or app this year. The majority of children using YouTube can name a favourite YouTuber."

The survey also found that fewer children are doing sport outside and inside school this year, they are reporting higher stress levels but are less likely to compare themselves to celebrities, more children are very concerned about the environment and their average weekly income from pocket money and handouts is £11.50.

CHILDWISE based on Queens Road carries out market research with children and young people and the 2020 survey is the 26th annual report by the organisation.

What do you think about children's use of mobile phones and are you a parent whose child uses a mobile phone? Email or call 01603 772684.

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