Family incomes are 28% lower when the breadwinner is female


New Research out today from Aviva show’s that UK families with female breadwinners have household incomes on average 28% lower than homes where the primary earner is male.


The data shows that the average annual income for male breadwinner households is £27,180 (£2,265 per month), but this falls to £19,620 (£1,635 per month) where a woman is the main earner. When both partners receive around the same income, this rises to £29,040 (£2,420 per month).


Evidence suggests that women are the higher earner for almost a third of UK couples (31%) and two million working mothers are the biggest earners in their families, a rise of 80% in the last 15 years. Yet the data suggests that overall these households will have lower incomes and fewer financial provisions than their ‘male’ counterparts.


Debts also appear to be higher amongst female breadwinner households. The typical amount owed by households where the main income earner is female is £14,366, while for corresponding ‘male’ households this figure is £10,537 (not including mortgage debt).


Aviva Family Finances research also found:


  • Households where the main income earner is female have an average of £826 in savings and typically save £81 per month.
  • This compares to £5,259 (amount held in savings) and for £108 (saved monthly) male breadwinner households.
  • 29% of female breadwinner households have life insurance compared to 40% of ‘male’ households.
  • Female breadwinner households are more than twice as likely to have taken out a payday loan in the last year (5% of homes where women are the main earner compared to 2% where the breadwinner is male).

Does this research surprise you or is it as you expected? We’d love to hear your thoughts on salary levels and the inequalities between the genders in the workplace.

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