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Children Get First Mobile Phone at Average Age of Eight

Eight is the average age at which children are given their first mobile phone, according to a survey.

Stephen Adams
February 18, 2009

More than a third of children (35 per cent) own a mobile by the time they are that age, the charity Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) discovered.

Its survey also found that three-quarters of all children aged seven to 15 owned "at least" one mobile.

The charity's survey highlighted how early children now become financially aware – with peer pressure forcing them to get to grips with money to afford mobile phone ringtones, call costs and computer games.

It found that children as young as seven were offering to do chores in exchange for cash to buy ringtones.

But researchers were also told that by the age of 10, children were shopping online using their parents' debit or credit cards.

A third of children (32 per cent) have used the internet to buy computer games.

A quarter of the 546 children surveyed have voted in television competitions, which can often cost £1 or more to enter.

But only 18 per cent have bought a book online.

Wendy van den Hende, chief executive of the charity, said: "Children today face a kind of 'technological tipping point' forcing them to develop financial awareness at an earlier age.

"It is therefore, vital, that they are equipped with the skills and judgment to make sound decisions about money management from an early age."

The research also found that average weekly pocket money now stands at £6.32.

The online survey carried out by Populus questioned 1,435 people including 546 children aged seven to 15, 676 parents and 759 grandparents between January 16 and 26.






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