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More moms than ever are breadwinners, Pew says

Wednesday, June 5, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
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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 single mothers.

Breadwinning moms 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.

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