Pink tax statistics are scarce and mostly done by social advocates and movements that dedicate their time and energy to raise awareness about this issue. In this article, you will find out more about this phenomenon, how it affects women, and how much it really costs.
Have you ever wondered why the same brand sells one type of men’s shampoo and ten different types of shampoo for women?
You will usually recognize these products from the moment you enter a store – they are in any shade of pink or purple, decorated with pictures of flowers in bloom, milk, or smiling women. They are also more expensive than the blue bottle next to it.
Top 10 Facts & Pink Tax Statistics for 2021
- Women are charged 42% more than men for the same amount of goods.
- Pink tax amounts to $1,351 per woman a year.
- California would lose $55 million a year if it cut tampon and diaper taxes.
- Kenya was the first country to get rid of the Tampon Tax in 2004.
- The state of New York declared gender based pricing illegal on October 1, 2020.
- Pink products are the most expensive ones.
- Scotland is the first country that has made sanitary pads and tampons free for everybody.
- The tampon pink tax in the UK was finally abolished in 2021.
- Women in the US spend $150 million on menstrual products.
- The pink tax doesn’t include life insurance.
Pink Tax Statistics & Facts Around the World
The pink tax, or gender price discrimination, refers to the difference in prices for women’s and men’s products or services. Let’s see how different countries around the world are dealing with this issue.
1. Women are charged 42% more than men for the same amount of goods.
(Listen Money Matters)
Based on one study on gender pricing in New York City, women pay 13% more for personal care products, adult clothing (8%), senior/home health care products (8%), accessories and toys (7%), and children’s clothing (4%).
In other words, based on the pink tax calculator, toys, makeup, and clothes are all more expensive when they are manufactured to target the female audience.
2. Women would have to work 39 days more than men to earn an equal yearly salary.
Higher taxes and gender pay gaps go hand in hand. On the bright side, earning 85% as much as men is 5% higher than in 2017, and the situation has drastically improved since the 80s.
Yet, considering the age we live in, the figures are still depressing. After all, nobody likes getting a smaller paycheck than a colleague for the same amount of work.
3. Pink tax is debunked — the pink tax amounts to $1,351 per woman a year.
This means that by the time you are 30, you will have paid $40,530 more in the Value Added Tax than a man who had the same spending habits. The only difference is that you will not get any greater value for that money.
By the time you are 50, this amount will climb to $67,550.
4. Facts about the pink tax reveal pink products are the most expensive ones.
The term is not just symbolic. One study compared the prices of 50 products falling into different categories, like clothes, toys, and other accessories.
In all 50 products, the pink version turned out to be the most expensive. For example, if your son wants a new helmet, you can get him one for $14.99. If your daughter wants one, be prepared to pay $27.99 to get it in pink.
5. Pink tax trends show that 74% of women’s perfumes in France are more expensive than men’s fragrances.
Based on a 2019 study, only 17% of the bottles had the same price tag. 9% of femme fragrances were less expensive than male perfumes.
The situation is similar in Italy, where a 2020 study showed women deodorants were twice as expensive.
6. Based on a pink tax case study, female shampoo costs $8.39 on average, while shampoo for men remains at $5.68.
Products for personal hygiene are where the discrepancy is the most visible. For example, a five-pack of blue, aka male, razors costs $14.99, while the exact same product packed in a pink box costs $18.49.
7. Women make over 85% of overall purchases.
This is one of the most frequent arguments among advocates of the pink tax. The fact that women are the most prominent group in the segmentation of the market is why the brands and retailers focus on women and give them various choices.
This is also why women influence more than 95% of total goods.
8. Pink tax statistics suggest that in Italy, women pay 57% more for face moisturizers than men.
(Statista ) (Statista)
In Italy, women pay more on average for face moisturizers, deodorants, and shampoos than men. Likewise, based on a 2020 study, 48% of surveyed Italians believe that products for women cost much more than products for men, while 25% of respondents disagree with this statement.
9. Based on the pink tax data, ten EU member countries impose over 20% tax on sanitary products for women.
Almost 14 EU member states still apply the same VAT rate to sanitary products, jewelry, alcohol, and tobacco.
To this end, tampons are in the same category as the embodiment of luxury — diamonds. While Hungary remains the leader, with 27%, it is closely followed by Switzerland, Croatia, and Denmark, which keep the VAT at 25%.
10. Data on pink tax in the Philippines implies women’s razors of the same brand cost P40.5 ($0.83) more than men’s.
Much like the personal products that are more expensive for Phillipian women than men, women’s razors that come from the same brand cost P122.25 ($2.52), compared to men’s razors that are priced at P81.75 ($1.68).
There’s a similar situation when it comes to children’s scooters. For example, if you want to use your credit card to buy a blue Spiderman scooter, you’ll be charged P459 ($9.46). For a pink Hello Kitty scooter (of the same brand), you’ll have to pay P520 ($10.71).
Pink Tax Statistics on Tampons
Tampon tax refers to the cost of products for feminine hygiene like tampons, pads, cups, and liners. How much money do women pay for the mentioned taxes?
11. Kenya was the first country in the world to get rid of the Tampon Tax in 2004.
Kenya, Canada, India, Malaysia, Uganda, Tanzania, Nicaragua, and Trinidad and Tobago were the first countries that started dealing with the issue of gender based pricing. In the US, women and girls living in certain states (Florida, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois) deleted the pink tax.
However, taxing female sanitary necessities is still high all over the world. Iceland, Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Argentina have a 20% tax. In comparison, women in Turkey, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand face 15%–19% VAT when buying menstrual products.
12. The tampon pink tax in the UK is finally abolished in 2021.
On January 1, 2021, the UK abolished the 5% VAT on menstrual products. This was part of the government’s End Period Poverty campaign. In other words, they strive to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges, and hospitals.
13. One of the unbelievable pink tax facts is the one citing the EU taxes menstrual products as luxury items.
The most prominent part of the pink tax issue is the so-called tampon tax, i.e., the taxation of menstrual products, which are a basic monthly necessity.
One of the lesser-known facts is that, according to the EU, these are not necessities but luxuries, like caviar, for example. This categorization means that the EU member states cannot reduce the taxing of these products below 5%.
14. Hungary applies a 27% tax on menstrual products.
In addition to Hungary, several Scandinavian countries keep their ‘pink tax’ at 25%, on average. The statistics show that Greece even raised it to 23% after it entered financial breakdown and debt.
Where does the pink tax exist? Everywhere in Europe, except for Ireland, that’s currently the only European country without taxes on female sanitary products.
15. CEE countries are lowering their ‘tampon taxes’ to 5%.
Over the last year, three CEE countries (the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Poland) have lowered the taxing of menstrual products to 5%, which is the minimal tax rate aligned with the EU regulations.
The good news is that the pink tax statistics over the years indicate positive changes, best seen in Germany, which lowered the tax from 19% to 7%.
16. Snowmobiles and marshmallows are tax-free in the US, but sanitary products aren’t.
Cooking wine, gun club memberships and sunflower seeds are just some of the exemptions from taxes in some of the 36 American states that still apply taxes to female sanitary products.
17. Women in the US spend $150 million on menstrual products.
(Marie Claire) (TaxJar)
When it comes to the pink tax rate in the US, most states still believe that menstrual products are not a necessity (but vending machine snacks are).
However, there are states in which your sanitary needs are not taxed anymore:
Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Washington DC.
Pink Tax Pros and Cons
What are the pros and cons of pink taxes? Here are some reasons why it hasn’t been abolished just yet.
18. California would lose $55 million a year if it cut the tampon and diaper taxes.
Which is one of the most frequent arguments for keeping the current taxing policies as they are. This is further backed up by the estimates that New York would be losing around $14 million annually due to no longer imposing the pink tax.
19. Interesting pink tax facts reveal the pink tax doesn’t include life insurance.
On that note, life insurance is cheaper for women, given that women are statistically expected to live longer than men. The average monthly cost of a 20-year term life insurance for women is $25.23, while men pay $30.03 per month.
20. The state of New York declared gender-based pricing illegal on October 1, 2020.
New York is the most recent state that stopped pink taxes. This prohibits businesses from charging the same products differently for men and women.
To explain the issue, the statement gave some rather shocking examples — a blue swimming pool for children costs $69.99. The exact same one in pink costs $89.99. A woman’s suit jacket would cost $12 to dry clean, while a man would pay $8 for his clothing item.
21. Scotland is the first country that has made sanitary pads and tampons free for everybody.
We’re ending our pink tax facts and pros and cons with good news from Scotland. Namely, the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill was signed recently, and now it’s up to the government to come up with ways of implementing the changes.
Scotland was also the first country in the world to make sanitary pads and tampons free in educational facilities.
What is the pink tax?
The pink tax is a form of pricing based on gender that makes the products, goods, and services more expensive if intended for women, with no specific justified reason or difference from those intended for men besides cosmetic differences.
Why is there a pink tax?
There are a few reasons that depend on the products and industries. First of all, some products are more expensive due to the changes in manufacturing (materials, color, size). Secondly, the tariffs on imports for women’s products are often higher. And lastly, some manufacturers believe that women will pay more for a product, regardless of the price. However, this is not always the case.
Where does the pink tax exist?
The pink tax exists in most of the world. Still, it is the most prominent in Europe. This kind of VAT is among the highest in the world, going up to 27% in Hungary and around 25% in Scandinavian countries.
That said, countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania, lowered the taxes on tampons to 5%. Germany did a similar action. Their high taxes on feminine hygiene products, which amounted to 19%, went down to 7%. Similarly, Luxembourg has a 3% tax.
What states have no pink tax?
Whereas most US states still have the phenomenon of pink taxing, 20 states have made this type of gender bias illegal: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Washington DC.
Why pink tax should be abolished?
Because the pink tax is not an actual tax and it is discriminatory. It refers to the price difference solely based on gender. Both consumers and legislators believe that the tampon tax should be abolished, given that women have no choice when it comes to purchasing these products. This is especially important for women who live in poverty.
What items are pink taxed?
Items labeled as “for women” or “for girls “that usually come in pink color will most likely be more expensive than the male versions of the same product. Pink tax can include various products, from clothing and toys to self-care products.
For example, women pay 13% more for personal care products, 8% more for clothing, 7% more for toys, and 4% more for children’s clothing.
Is there a pink tax in the UK?
Yes, there is, but there have been some improvements. As of January 2021, the tampon tax in the UK has been abolished. Women are no longer required to pay taxes for sanitary products. Due to Brexit, the UK is no longer required to follow the EU rules that apply for sanitary products. This means that women will spend less money on tampons, saving about £7 ($9.93) on a pack of 20 pads.
In a world that continually strives for equality, the rising number of advocates working to decrease this phenomenon’s impact comes as no surprise. Although this is a part of our everyday life, people usually either don’t think about it or brush it off as something that does not pose a real problem.
We hope that these pink tax statistics clarified the picture and answered the questions you might have had about the extent, implications, and forms it can take.