UK leads Europe for wealthy female earners, survey finds
Published in The Guardian, June 11, 2015 The UK leads the rest of Europe in terms of women being the main earner among affluent households, according to a survey. The Ipsos Affluent Survey Europe, now in its 20th year, reveals that Britain, which once lagged other European countries in terms of the number of women qualifying as the main income-earner in well-off families, is now in pole position. In 2006, the figure in the UK was 33.6%, compared with 36% in continental Europe. Since then, the percentage has increased across Europe, but the UK is in the lead: 44.1% v 41.2%. The survey covers the top 13% of income earners in Europe. However, the gender gap in pay persists. The survey shows that mean income for women still lags behind that of men. In the past 10 years the gap has remained fairly constant at 30%. Affluent Europe measures the habits of Europe’s richest consumers and tracks what they do for business and pleasure, what they buy and why, as well as their media consumption. The survey shows that affluent Britons take more trips abroad than their counterparts in France, Germany, Italy or Spain. Last year, 31.9% of well-off Britons took three or more flights for pleasure. Spain came a distant second with 22.6%. Golf is more popular with rich Brits (21.5% say they are interested in the sport) than their fellow Europeans, while Germans are appear to be the most avid restaurant goers: 78% ate out more than once last year, compared with 41% for Britons. When it comes to fancy goods, Britain’s highest earners are particularly fond of luxury handbags, jewellery, Rolex and Breitling watches. Italians also like Rolex and Breitling as well as having a yen for designer clothes. Russians have a particular passion for designer shoes and Germans love Mercedes. In other findings, the survey found a closer correlations between affluence and higher education over the years. In 2014, more than half of Europe’s well-off have at least one degree and almost 80% have English either as a first or second language. Unsurprisingly, as baby boomers move towards retirement age, the average affluent person is now older and less inclined to work long hours. More surprising, however, is that contrary to widespread perception, time spent reading offline media (newspapers and magazines) has not declined. In terms of media consumption, Britain’s affluent spend more time online and watching TV than their continental counterparts. Turks are the heaviest consumers of all media, spending 150 minutes consuming media in an average day. For a link to the full article on The Guardian visit here.