New research has found that 40 percent of all households with children under 18 years of age include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of family income.

Pew Research-breadwinner-momsThe analysis by the Pew Research Center is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and shows that the number has grown almost four times since 1960 when women were primary breadwinners in just 11 percent of households. This further highlights the shift in demographics and female societal roles in just a few generations.

The huge increase is based on a few different factors, including the rise in number of women getting better education and in some cases even higher education than their husbands, as well as more women rejecting the idea that their primary duty is to stay home and raise

The Pew reports that these “breadwinner moms” are separated in 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.

“The income gap between the two groups is quite large,” reports the research center. “The median total family income of married mothers who earn more than their husbands was nearly $80,000 in 2011, well above the national median of $57,100 for all families with children,
and nearly four times the $23,000 median for families led by a single mother.”

The new findings have spurred a public debate about women’s roles in raising children and the increased number of single mothers.

About half (51%) of respondents say that children fare better when a mother is home and is not employed, while just 8% say the same about a father.

It’s your turn: Do you think that moms are better off staying at home without holding a
job or are you excited about the new findings?