Family incomes are much lower when the main earner is female

UK families with female breadwinners bring in an average of 28 per cent less income than homes where the primary earner is male, according to research…

UK families with female breadwinners bring in an average of 28 per cent less income than homes where the primary earner is male, according to research from Aviva.

The company's Family Finances Report series found the average annual income for properties where men are the main earners is £27,180 (£2,265 per month) and this drops to £19,620 (£1,635 per month) when a woman is the primary breadwinner. 

When both partners receive around the same income, this figure rises to £29,040 (£2,420 per month).

Evidence unearthed by the study suggests women are the higher earner for almost a third of UK couples (31 per cent) and two million working mothers are the biggest earners in their families, which is a rise of 80 per cent in the last 15 years. 

However, the data found these households will have lower incomes and fewer financial provisions than their male counterparts.

Unfortunately, debts appear to be higher amongst homes where women bring in the majority of the income. The average amount of money owed by households (not including mortgage debt) where the main income earner is female is £14,366, while this figure is £10,537 for males.

Meanwhile, properties where the main income earner is a woman have an average of £826 in savings and typically save £81 per month, which compares to £5,259 and £108 respectively in male breadwinner households.

Worryingly, homes where women bring in the most are more than twice as likely to have taken out a payday loan in the last year – five per cent compared to two per cent of male counterparts. 

Louise Colley, protection distribution director for Aviva, said: "There's been a steady increase in the number of working mothers and female breadwinners in recent years, yet it's sad to see that this trend is not always reflected in their earnings."

There are many families now relying on a single income and it is concerning if the majority of income comes from the female, especially when children are very young and childcare costs are high.

By James Francis

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