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Tampons, pads and panty liners across the states

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 –December 2014, n=4,455 women aged 14-54.

Almost 4.2 million Australian women aged 14-54 (65%) paid GST in the last four weeks when indulging in the luxury of buying tampons, sanitary pads or panty liners, consumer data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

In an average four weeks during 2014, around 3.2 million women aged 14-54 bought sanitary pads (50%), 2.1 million bought tampons (33%) and 1.6 million bought panty liners (24%). Around 1 in 10 women in this age group bought all three feminine products in an average month.

Although there is little difference between the states in the total proportions of 14-54 year-old women who bought any of these products in the last four weeks (ranging from 66% in Victoria and NSW/ACT to 64% in South Australia and 62% in Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland), there are some differences between which type is more common.   

Tampons are most widely bought in Tasmania (38%), but women there are less inclined than in other states to buy pads (46%) or liners (20%). Victoria has the highest rate of pad-purchasing, with 52% of women buying them in an average four weeks. 

Proportion of Australian Women 14-54 who purchased in last four weeks

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 –December 2014, n=4,455 women aged 14-54.

Angela Smith – Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

The debate over whether tampons, pads and panty liners should be exempted from GST has reignited. Women aged 14 to 54 make up around a third of the country—and around two-thirds of them buy (and pay tax on) one or more of these products at least once in an average four weeks.

“And on top of the 4.2 million women 14-54 regularly buying these products, another 1.2 million Australians (14+) also do so in an average four weeks—a group including older women and, yes, around 570,000 men (presumably buying for someone else). In fact, perhaps that would be a more effective campaign headline: Over Half a Million Men Unfairly Taxed Each Month.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s FMCG purchasing data, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%