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Record Number Of Bread-Winning Mothers

Posted 5/29/2013 6:30 am by
A WWII-era working woman.

A WWII-era working woman.

The days of the single mother are upon us, and the trend shows no sign of reversing.  Some 40 percent of births occur out of wedlock, and as the amount of single mothers rise, the amount of mothers bringing home the bacon rises, too.  A record number of women are the main breadwinner of their family, with 40 percent of all women being the primary or majority income-winner for their family.  Some 13.7 million US households with children under 18 have the mother as the breadwinner; 37 percent of that number (5.1 million) are married couples with the remaining 8.6 million are single mothers.

“This change is just another milestone in the dramatic transformation we have seen in family structure and family dynamics over the past 50 years or so,” said Kim Parker, associate director with the Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project.  “Women’s roles have changed, marriage rates have declined — the family looks a lot different than it used to.  The rise of breadwinner moms highlights the fact that, not only are more mothers balancing work and family these days, but the economic contributions mothers are making to their households have grown immensely.”

Of course, there’s still a big income gap between married women and single women, but with more women joining the workplace (65 percent of moms work), those numbers will shift.  More women are graduating college and traditionally high-paying manufacturing jobs are waning, so the percentage of women breadwinners will continue to tilt in favor of the ladies until we reach some sort of equilibrium.

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