Eight out of 10 children have a mobile phone - survey

Survey shows around 80 per cent of children have a mobile phone

Eight out of 10 children have a mobile phone and more than nine out of 10 own a games console, according to a new survey.

About 80 per cent of children aged between eight and 15 have a mobile, on which they run up monthly bills averaging £9.18, the Halifax research shows.

Unsurprisingly, both mobile phone ownership and its cost increases with age, with 94 per cent of children aged between 12 and 15 having a mobile, with bills coming in at £10.45 a month, compared with 66 per cent of eight to 11-year-olds, who run up bills of £7.02 on their phones each month.

But only 21 per cent of children pick up the cost of having a mobile themselves, with 72 per cent relying on their parents to pay the bill.

The survey showed that 91 per cent of children have a games console, with boys more likely to have one than girls, at 95 per cent, compared with 87 per cent of girls.

Boys also spend more on computer games and equipment each month at an average of £11.56, compared with £7.77 for girls.

A further seven per cent of children have an iPod or MP3 player, with 44 per cent regularly downloading music from the internet.

Children in Wales were most likely to have a games console with 100 per cent of those surveyed owning one, while 94 per cent of children in Wales also had a mobile phone, compared with just 75 per cent in Scotland.

Mobile phone bills were highest in London, with children there running up an average bill of £11.55 a month, while they are lowest in the South West at £7.00.

TNS questioned 1,204 children aged between eight and 15 between August 26 and September 2.

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