For nearly four out of 10 U.S. households, women are the primary providers, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a record level of women who are financially supporting their kids.
“The share of households with children where there is a mother who is the sole or primary breadwinner is up about fourfold from 1960, when it was only 11%,” report co-author Kim Parker, associate director of Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, told USA Today.
Single vs. Married: How These Breadwinners Differ
Pew found two distinct groups of primary providers: single moms and married women who make more than their husbands.
The two groups differ vastly when it comes to money: In 2011, the median total family income of married mothers who earn more than their husbands was nearly $80,000–that’s almost four times the $23,000 median total family income for households led by a single mom.
Further, the share of families led by a single mother has more than tripled from 7% in 1960 to 25% in 2011. And a growing segment of those single moms have never been married: Only 4% of single moms had never tied the knot in 1960, compared to 44% in 2011.