Precious allowance coins spent at ice-cream carts and candy shops have gone the way of spyder bikes. American youths today pocket bills, not coins. Allowances now average $9 a week, according to a poll by Coinstar, a Bellevue, Wash.-based operator of coin-counting machines.
An economic slowdown has reportedly led some parents to cut allowances, but the Coinstar survey found that most parents give their kids twice the allowance they themselves received as children.
Familiarity with wealth is becoming more widespread among US youths. The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics recently reported that, from 1980 to 1999, the number of children growing up in high-income homes - currently defined as at least $68,116 for a family of four - jumped from 16.8 percent to 29 percent.
Coinstar's findings on average weekly allowances:
Adults' Amount given Amount age group to kids received as child
18-34 $7 $8
35-44 11 5
45-54 8 2
55-64 12 3
65+4 1 1
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor