Here's How Married Women Are Keeping The American Economy Alive

Married women are increasingly the breadwinners in their families, and are basically the only reason that median incomes in the US have risen at all in the last 45 years.

This chart is from Betsey Stevenson, an economist on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Here’s more detail from a recent White House report on work and family:

Among married women who are working, 24 per cent earn more than their husbands compared to

only 7 per cent in 1970. Growth in married women’s earnings has been an essential component of

growth in family incomes with most of the growth in family income over the past several decades

coming from women’s rising earnings. In 2013, the income of employed married women comprised

44 per cent of their family’s income, up from 37 per cent of household income in 1970.

This has partially been because women’s real incomes have risen at a time when male income has

stagnated. As a result, nearly all of the rise in family income since the 1970s has been due to

women’s earnings.

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