New Zealand children get around $15 a week pocket money, according to a school census project.

Slightly more than half of all Kiwi kids (59 per cent) receive some form of pocket money, the CensusAtSchool project said today, following questions to school children.

The median amount pocketed by the students, aged 9 to 18 in the week prior to the survey, was $15, whether as pocket money, a gift or an allowance.

A quarter of those students received between $1 and $6, while another quarter got $30 or more.


Primary school students received a median of $10 a week, while secondary students pocketed a median of $20.

Meanwhile, more boys than girls who took part in the survey had a part-time job - 25 per cent compared to 18 per cent.

And the gender pay gap was evident even among school-age children, with working boys earning a median of $30, compared to $20 for their female peers.

Despite their young age, 18 per cent of primary school children reported having a part-time job, earning them a median of $15.

For the 28 per cent of high school students who said they had a part-time job the median wage was $80, while a quarter reported earning $160 per week or more.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe, a mother of four, said pocket money was a perennial topic of conversation among parents.

"There are a lot of questions," she said. "Should you give your kids pocket money? If so, at what age, and how much? Should pocket money be tied to completing chores, or not? And should we incentivise the kids to save their pocket money?"

However, there was "no rulebook" on this or correct answer, she said, but "there does come a time when your kids start asking".

"My eldest, who's 8, has just started asking about pocket money as some of his friends now get an allowance, so my husband and I have been deciding our approach."

CensusAtSchool is a biennial statistics project showing student the relevance of statistics to everyday life.

Students from Year 5 to Year 13 use digital devices to answer 35 online questions in either English or te reo Maori, to provide a snapshot of Kiwi childhood.

This year's census started on February 7, and pupils can take part any time until the finish date on July 7.

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistics capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, the US and the UK.