Women make up nearly half the workforce in America today, and it’s beginning to show at home.
For the first time, a record 40% of U.S. households with children under the age of 18 are headed by bread-winning mothers.
That’s quadruple the rate in 1960, according to a new Pew Research centre analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
By ‘breadwinner,’ Pew refers to two different classes of women: the 5.1 million married mothers who earn more than their husbands and the 8.6 million single mothers who are the sole household earners.
Typically, it’s the former group that fares best on the earnings front.
The median total family income of married, breadwinner mothers was $80,000 in 2011, well above the national median of $57,100 for all families with children, and nearly four times the median for families led by a single mother — $23,000, according to Pew.
Income isn’t the only major difference.
“Compared with all mothers with children under age 18, married mothers who out-earn their husbands are slightly older, disproportionally white and college educated,” the study states. “Single mothers, by contrast, are younger, more likely to be black or Hispanic and less likely to have a college degree.”
Even with women’s rise in the workplace, Americans can’t seem to make up their mind about how they feel about it.
Around three-quarters of adults say more women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say that it has made it harder for marriages to be successful, according to Pew. But two-thirds admitted that it has made it easier for families to earn enough money to live comfortably.
And even though nearly 80% of Americans say women shouldn’t have to revert to their homemaking hey days, more than half said that children are better off with mothers at home.