More moms than ever are breadwinners, Pew says
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
The percentage of family
households with mothers who are primary or sole income providers is at an
all-time high of 40 percent, according to a study by the Pew Research Center,
based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Thirty-seven percent, or
5.1 million, of the nation’s working mothers who are primary or sole income
providers are married mothers who earn more than their husbands; 63 percent are
contribute to higher family incomes as a whole, according to the study. In households
where the wife is the primary provider, the median family income for 2011 was
nearly $80,000. Households with husbands as primary providers have a median
family income of approximately $2,000 less. Households with spouses earning
equal incomes earned $10,000 less for the year.
Looking closer, Pew
found married mothers who are primary breadwinners earn a median income of
nearly $80,000 in 2011, while single breadwinner mothers earn a median income
of $23,000, the study said.
Women comprise 47 percent
of today’s U.S. workers. Nearly two thirds, 65 percent, of married mothers with
children are employed, up from 37 percent in 1968.
While the percentage of
mothers who view working full time as "ideal” has grown ― from 20 percent in
2007 to 32 percent in 2012 ― public opinion of working mothers remains divided.
Seventy-four percent of adults say the rise of employment for women poses
challenges to parents raising children. Half believe children are "better off
with mother home.” Only 8 percent of adults surveyed said children fare better
with father at home full time.
Still, the percentage of
people who believe marriage suffers when a wife out-earns her husband has
fallen, from 40 percent in 1997 to 28 percent today.