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.
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.
Top 10 Pink Tax Trends & Facts
- Pink tax amounts to $1,351 per woman a year.
- Toys and accessories for girls cost 7% more, on average.
- The EU taxes menstrual products as luxury items.
- Women spend $828 more every year on appearance and care-related activities and products.
- Women are charged 37% more than men for the same amount of goods.
- Companies charge women 3-40% more per product, according to pink tax data.
- Women in the US spend $150 million on menstrual products.
- Women make over 85% of overall purchases.
- African countries were the pioneers in decreasing the pink tax.
- New York is the most recent state that stopped pink taxes.
Pink Tax Statistics & Facts Around the World
1. Women are charged 37% more than men for the same amount of goods.
Research conducted in 2016 showed that this is true for all ages and a variety of products. Toys, makeup, and clothes are all more expensive when they are manufactured to target the female audience.
2. 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.
3. Pink products are the most expensive ones.
Facts about the pink tax show that 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.
4. Women would have to work 39 days more than men to earn an equal yearly salary.
Pink tax trends show that 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 the colleague for the same amount of work.
5. 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.
6. Companies charge women 3-40% more per product, according to pink tax data.
Women are generally considered to be big spenders, and are encouraged to behave like that by an endless stream of targeted ad campaigns across all media.
We can rarely find a store, or at least a section, that is not divided into male and female — the difference, or the lack thereof, being the most obvious in personal hygiene products. If they opt for buying a “women’s” pink razor, women will pay almost twice as much as they would for the blue, “male” version of the exact same razor from the same company.
7. Pink tax trends show that toys and accessories for girls cost 7% more, on average.
Research conducted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs looked into 35 different categories of goods and found that only five of them didn’t display a difference in charging for male and female products.
8. Female shampoo costs $8.39 on average, while shampoo for men remains at $5.68.
The pink tax trends show that 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.
9. Women make over 85% of overall purchases.
This is one of the most frequent arguments among advocates of the so-called 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, which is also why women influence more than 95% of total goods.
10. On average, women spend $828 more every year on appearance and care-related activities and products.
A 2017 study looked into prices people pay for products and services related to personal appearance – haircuts, beauty salons, gyms, shaving, makeup, etc.
Pink tax data indicate that an average man spends $244 a month, while women have to set aside $313 to cover their costs in this field, which is 22% more every month.
11. 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 categories with diamonds. While Hungary remains the leader, with 27%, it is closely followed by Switzerland, Croatia, and Denmark, which keep the VAT at 25%.
12. Kenya was the first country to get rid of 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.
However, taxing female sanitary necessities is still high all over the world. Iceland, Albania, Moldova, and Argentina have a 20-25%% tax, while women in Turkey, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, and Bosnia face 15-19% VAT when buying menstrual products.
Tampon Tax Facts and Stats
13. Scotland is the first country that has made sanitary pads and tampons free for everybody.
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.
14. 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 pink tax 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%.
15. Hungary applies a 27% tax on menstrual products.
In addition to Hungary, several Scandinavian countries keep their ‘pink tax’ at 25%, on average. The pink tax statistics show that Greece even raised it to 23% after it entered financial breakdown and debt.
The only European country without taxes on female sanitary products is Ireland.
16. The UK is banning VAT on sanitary products starting in 2021.
One of the UK’s first changes after Brexit is to change its taxing policies and stop taxing menstrual products. This means £5p-£7p less, depending on the size of the pack of tampons.
Pink tax statistics show that the UK has a long history of trying to address the pink tax problem, and it came up with a fund in 2015, which was meant to distribute the money gathered through the tampon tax and give it away to women’s charities.
17. 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%.
18. 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.
19. Women in the US spend $150 million on menstrual products.
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.
20. Some pink tax facts and pros and cons: California would lose $20 million a year if it cut tampon 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.
What is the pink tax?
The pink tax is not a real tax but should undoubtedly be a part of planning your finances if you are a woman. This is a form of gender based pricing that makes the products, goods, and services more expensive if intended for women, with no specific reason or difference from those intended for men.
Where does the pink tax exist?
The pink tax exists in most of the world but is the most prominent in Europe, where this kind of VAT is among the highest in the world, going up to 27% in Hungary and around 25% in Scandinavian countries.
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. Hopefully, these pink tax statistics will improve.
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.