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Inflation has changed costs for adults across the country, but a surprising new survey found that inflation affects kids, too, at least where the Tooth Fairy is involved. Visa, Inc. puts together a yearly survey looking at how much loot children rake in when they get a little present from the tooth fairy under their pillows. In 2012, the Tooth Fairy left an average of $3. This year, however, the Tooth Fairy upped his or her ante in most parts of the country, averaging $3.75. A sure sign that the economy is flourishing? Maybe. A sure sign that a lot of kids are spoiled? Probably.
For many kids in the United States, getting swag from the Tooth Fairy is a right of passage that has been explored in popular culture many times. Sure, your gap-toothed kids are stuck with ugly grins for several months, but the good news is that they get a little money out of the adventure, and supposedly more importantly, they get to wake up to the magical exchange of teeth and money. Young kids get excited when their older brothers and sisters earn their first dime—or $5 dollars—from the TF and wait for the day when they, too, pop out those baby teeth.
The Tooth Fairy might be opening his wallet a little more in the last year, but he’s still not very consistent between households. Some families give out a whopping $20 while others are known to only hand out a dollar or less per tooth. In fact, in 36% of U.S. households, the TF brings in less than a dollar bill per tooth. The number for the elusive $20 is a little lower. Only 6% of families gave out the big bill. 2% even gave out $50 a tooth. In the Northeast, kids are actually crushing financially per tooth, earning on average of $4.10. In the South and West, kids bring in about $3.60 and $3.70. In the Midwest, kids earn a little less, averaging $3.30 a tooth. One more note of interest: male TFs leave more than their female counterparts.
I’m from the Midwest, where the money count per tooth is lower and getting more than a $1 per tooth was unheard of in my household. Again, the point was always that I woke up with something brand new under my pillow rather than earned enough to buy a brand new toy or put some serious money in the bank. For me, the money was never the most important part of the transaction, but clearly some families are not on the same page.
Whether or not the Tooth Fairy drops off a couple quarters or several dollars, most families do get visited by the creature in a given year. According to CNN, 90% of U.S. Households will receive a visit from the TF in 2014. That number seems excessively high, but I’m assuming it only counts households with children, not those filled with seniors, young professionals, and those who have chosen not to procreate. Still, the Tooth Fairy does some serious business every year, bringing joy, money and a little wonder to the youths of the world.