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Record Number of Moms are Breadwinners in Households

Posted at 7:43 AM, May 29, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A record 40 percent of U.S. households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.  That’s according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

The study is based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  The 40 percent figure of so-called “breadwinner moms” is a jump from the 11 percent that was found in 1960.

The moms are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers.

According to the study, the growth of both groups is tied to women’s increasing presence in the workplace.  Today, they make up 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, and the employment rate of married mothers with children has risen from 37 percent in 1968, to 65 percent in 2011.