Stat of the Day: Working Moms on the Decline

Moms Who Work Still the Majority; Half of Never-Married Women Have a Child by 45

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The percent of working moms dipped slightly between 2008 and 2010, but moms who work remain a majority: 55% of women who had a child in the past 12 months were in the labor force. The recession would seem to be the culprit in reversing what has been a more or less consistent growth trend for decades. The percent of new moms working full time also dropped slightly to 34% while the unemployment rate grew to 6.9%. Of women over age 30, 63% who had a baby in the past 12 months were working moms -- nearly half worked full-time.

Working Moms chart
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau this week released new figures from its Current Population Survey, which looks at fertility and other topics.

Some more findings:

  • Nearly half of women who have never married by age 45 have a child. That figure is up from 25% just 30 years ago, and 11% in 1976. There is a huge difference in this based on ethnicity and race. Only 30% of never-married white, non-Hispanic women have a child by this age, compared to nearly 70% of black women and more than two-thirds of Hispanic women.
    Never-Married Moms chart
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau
  • The fertility rate of those in a household with income of less than $10,000 is almost twice (98.3 births per 1,000 women vs 54.8) that of households making $75,000 or more.
  • More than 80% of married couples have children. Nearly that many widowed or divorced people have children.
  • Eighty-seven percent of foreign-born women had a baby by the age 44, compared with 80% of native-born women.

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