Why A New Study Saying Moms Are The Primary Breadwinners In 40% of Homes Is Inaccurate

moms are now the primary breadwinner in 40% of homes.Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s likely you’ve heard about the new study from Pew that shows that moms are the primary breadwinners in over 40% of homes in the United States.

Here’s the problem with that study: of that 40%, 63% are single mothers. So of COURSE they are the primary breadwinner in their families. This means, then, that in reality only 14.8% of two parent households the mother is the primary breadwinner in a two income households.

Much less dramatic, right?

It is also somewhat sad to see that the single moms earn significantly less than married moms, as evidenced by the chart you see on the left, as much as a fourth less. Here’s what Pew says is the reason for that disparity:

Compared with all mothers with children under age 18, married mothers who out-earn their husbands are slightly older, disproportionally white and college educated. Single mothers, by contrast, are younger, more likely to be black or Hispanic, and less likely to have a college degree.

In a study released by Pew back in March, it was revealed that 60% of married couples both work full time in order to support their families, but the at home division of labor is still somewhat gender biased, with women typically doing more of the parenting duties and housework than men do. Here’s the breakdown of that data showing how even though roles are converging between men and women, there is still an unequal division of labor in some respects.

SDT-2013-03-Modern-Parenthood-01

Also in that study from March, it shows that while men might do less at home, they also work longer hours in the office than women do.

SDT-2013-03-Modern-Parenthood-04

Of course, in households with single mothers, all of the household work falls on the shoulders of the mom (in single parent homes with fathers, naturally, the same can be said).

While all this data is interesting, it doesn’t address a core issue for working moms: we continue to earn more than 20% less our male counterparts, although that number is improving. When I was a kid, it was less than $.0.70 on the dollar.

Does this data interest you? Any revelations, or anything the study found that was startling? I’d love your thoughts.

 

 

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