Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or still pondering the decision to become one, it’s always interesting to take a peek at how other moms are dealing with their choice. These stay-at-home mom statistics lend some insight into not only what life as a stay-at-home mom is like, but who they are and how they are contributing to society.
Do stay-at-home moms get the respect and appreciation they deserve? It doesn’t seem like it, as stay-at-home moms deal with multiple battles each day – juggling children and housework, balancing their needs and desires with those of others. The truth is that stay-at-home moms do a lot for everyone in their life – not just for themselves.
In this post, we’ll take a look at stay-at-home mom statistics that women who plan to become SAHMs might find beneficial in the future. And if you are looking for motivation as a stay-at-home mom? This article is packed with statistics that will bring you joy, encourage you, and provide comfort on days when you want to quit.
Stay-At-Home Mom Statistics
1. Stay-at-home mothers and fathers account for around 1 in 5 US parents
(Pew Research Center)
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data, the stay-at-home share of parents today is almost exactly the same as it was in 1989. Around 18% of US parents, or 11 million, weren’t working outside of the home by 2016. This indicates around 1 in 5 parents are “stay-at-home” moms or dads.
Interestingly, the research also found the share of dads staying at home instead of mothers is gradually increasing compared to where the number was 25 years ago, (from 4% to 7%).
2. An average of 2.4% of parents in 2021 were stay-at-home parents in the US
According to Magnify Money, the number of parents identifying as “stay-at-home” moms or dads increased significantly between the years 2019 and 2021. On average, around 2.4% of parents in the US are now stay-at-home parents, compared to only 1.5% in 2019.
The researchers suggest there are a number of reasons for this increase, including the fact that around 9.9 million jobs were lost nationwide from February 2020 to December 2020. Additionally, since the pandemic, various opportunities have arisen for remote work.
3. 30.9% of families in the US with children under the age of 18 had a stay-at-home mother between 2019 and 2021
(Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2020 found around 20.9% of families with children under the age of 18 had a stay-at-home mother in 2019, while around 4.7% of the mothers in families this year were the main “breadwinner” for the home.
By 2020, the mother’s participation in the workforce had dipped slightly, to 65.9% of working mothers in the US overall. However, the number of women who were “breadwinners” for the family increased to 6.1%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also found mothers with children under the age of three were most likely to be stay-at-home moms (36.7%).
The likelihood of having a working mother increased with the age of the child.
Stay-At-Home Mom Demographic Statistics
4. Mississippi had the most stay-at-home parents in 2021
Magnify Money highlighted a significant change in the number of stay-at-home parents between the years 2019 and 2021. Extracting insights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the company found all states but 4 in the US had an increase in stay-at-home parents.
The state with the largest percentage of stay-at-home parents was Mississippi (6.5%), while Delaware followed in second place (5.6%).
When compared to 2019, the number of households with at least one stay-at-home parent increased by 306% by 2021. Columbia saw the highest percentage increase overall, with a 317% rise between 2019 and 2021.
5. Iowa has the fewest stay-at-home parents
Becoming a stay-at-home mom appears to be less common in certain states compared to others. Magnify Money’s evaluation of the “Stay-at-home parent situation” between 2019 and 2021 revealed two of the top three states for working parents were in the Midwest.
Iowa had the lowest percentage of stay-at-home moms in 2021, at only 0.9%, followed by Minnesota at 1%, and Maine at 1.2%.
While Iowa had the lowest number of stay-at-home parents in 2021, California saw the largest drop in stay-at-home moms, from 2.5% in 2019 to 2.1% in 2021.
6. Women with younger children were more likely to become stay-at-home moms in 2020
(Department of Labor)
According to the department of labor in the US, the number of women acting as stay-at-home parents has long been much greater than the number of men in the same role. Around 32% of adult women and mothers between the ages of 25-44% were “out of work”.
However, this trend increased during the pandemic, with a huge number of women leaving the workplace. Among moms leaving the workplace to become stay-at-home parents during the pandemic, the largest percentage had younger children.
Around 9% of moms with children under the age of 6 left the workforce, followed by 8% of moms with children aged 6-12. Only 1% of moms leaving the workforce had children aged 13-17.
7. Asian mothers were most likely to leave the workplace in 2020 to become stay-at-home parents
(Department of Labor)
The Department of Labor released a report on the number of mothers and parents leaving the workforce to become stay-at-home carers during the pandemic. Between January 2020 and the following year, 11% of Asian working mothers left home according to the report.
This meant Asian women with children under the age of 12 were most likely to leave the workforce, followed by black mothers (10%), and white mothers (8%). Hispanic mothers were the least likely to leave the workforce (7%).
8. 35% of mothers with partners who make less than $25,000 per year are stay-at-home moms
(Institute of Family Studies)
According to the Institute of Family Studies, the number of women who choose to stay at home to care for their children full time is heavily influenced by the earning potential of their partner. Close to half of the mothers in the study (46%) who had a partner with an income of $250,000 or higher were stay-at-home-parents.
However, only around 35% of mothers with a partner earning less than $25,000 a year chose to become stay-at-home mothers. Interestingly, the study found that 25% of mothers married to partners with an income of between $50,000 and $75,000 were stay-at-home mothers.
9. Mothers are more likely than non-mothers to express a desire to work less
(Institute of Family Studies)
Research by the Institute of Family Studies found mothers were more likely than women without children to declare an interest in working part-time, or not working at all.
Around 37% of women with children under the age of 18 said they would prefer part-time work, while 21% wanted to be a full stay-at-home mother. Comparatively, only 10% of women without children said they would prefer not to work.
Among mothers, marriage status was also a factor in determining how likely the woman would be to want to stay at home. 23% of married mothers said they would prefer to work not at all, while 40% said they would be happy working full-time.
Stay-at-Home Moms Trends
10. The percentage of parents staying home with children increased by 60% after the pandemic hit
The pandemic led to a significant priority shift for a lot of parents, causing a change in the number of mothers and fathers choosing to stay at home with their children. Between the years 2019 and 2021, Magnify Money found the number of stay-at-home parents increased by 60%.
Of the four states throughout the US with a reduction in stay-at-home parents, California saw the biggest drop, with stay-at-home mothers and fathers decreasing by 16%.
11. More fathers have taken over the role of a stay-at-home mom in the last 20 years
(Pew Research Center)
Though it’s unclear exactly how many men have made the transition to being stay-at-home parents since the pandemic, the Pew Research center indicates the number of stay-at-home dads has increased significantly in the last two decades.
Over the last 50 years, dads have become far more active parents. Fathers made up 17% of all stay-at-home parents in the US in 2016, compared to only 10% in 21989. Additionally, the report also found dads are now spending an average of 8 hours a week on child care, compared to only 2-3 hours in 1965.
12. 20% of moms left the workforce voluntarily to manage childcare in 2021
A 2021 survey of “BabyCenter” mothers by the parenting website found that 20% of the mothers who left the workforce in 2021 did so voluntarily to either manage childcare or handle health concerns. However, another 23% had either been laid off or had their hours reduced as a result of the changes caused by the pandemic.
According to the report, while some of the increase in stay-at-home moms over the last couple of years may be attributed to the changing job availability caused by the pandemic, many mothers are still choosing to stay at home voluntarily.
13. 1.6 million mothers left the workforce during the pandemic
(Department of Labor)
A report by the Department of Labor on the changes in stay-at-home parenting statistics found that 1.6 million mothers of children left the workforce between January 2020 and January 2021. This represented a 6.5% decline in the number of mothers in the workforce.
Comparatively, the number of fathers working during the pandemic decreased by around 1.3 million, equaling a 5.1% reduction. The Department of Labor also found many employed moms also scaled back their working hours more than fathers.
The Effects of Stay-at-Home Parenting
14. Stay at home moms work the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs
A survey sponsored by Welch’s in 2020 found the average stay-at-home mother works the same as about 2.5 full-time jobs when caring for their children. The report found the average mother works around 14 hours a day, starting at 6:32 am and finishing at 8:31 pm, with only approximately 1.7 hours of free time in this schedule.
The study indicates the degree of work done by a woman adds up to around a 98-hour work week. Yet many women still don’t get the respect they deserve for being stay-at-home moms.
15. Moms should be charging around $115,000 per year for their work as a stay-at-home mom
(Forbes and Salary.com)
According to a report published by Forbes and Salary.com, the average mother should be charging around $115,000 per year for the degree of work they do. According to a spokesperson for Salary.com, the average work of a stay-at-home mom is equivalent to around ten different jobs completed by one person.
16. Both mothers and fathers say having a job makes it harder to be a good parent
A study by Pew Research found mothers (51%) and fathers (51%) both believe that having a full-time job makes it harder for them to also be a good parents. The same study also revealed that mothers (50%) are more likely than fathers (39%) to say that working as a parent makes advancing in their career tougher.
Pew’s research went on to find that working mothers were more likely to make decisions about their working lives which could negatively affect their careers to support their children. 23% turned down a promotion, and 54% reduced their work hours, while 51% felt they weren’t providing their job with their full attention.
17. Stay-at-home mothers experience more emotional issues than working parents
Despite the various benefits associated with stay-at-home parenting, there are a number of challenges too, according to a study published by Gallup. The survey looked at 60,000 US women and found that 41% of stay-at-home moms worry frequently compared to only 34% of employed parents.
The same survey also found that 26% of stay-at-home mothers experienced sadness, while 19% experienced more anger. Comparatively, only 6% of working parents felt sadness, and another 14% reported feelings of anger.
18. 60% of Americans say it’s best to have at least one parent at home
Perceptions around the benefits of stay-at-home moms vary depending on where you are in the world.
In America, though the number of stay-at-home parents is relatively low, around 60% of respondents in a Pew Research study believe having one parent at home is a good idea. The report found around 35% of parents, in general, believe a child can be just as well-adjusted with both parents working.
Notably, attitudes towards stay-at-home parents were affected by the cultural background of the participants in the study. Protestants, people without a college education, and Hispanics were more likely to value having a parent at home.
19. Children with stay-at-home parents have higher grade-point averages
(Harvard Business Review)
Children with stay-at-home moms may benefit from more support for their academic development, according to some studies. One report from the Harvard Business Review found that 10th-grade children with at least one parent staying at home would have grade-point averages 1.2 points higher than other children.
We hope you enjoyed this quick tour of the world of stay-at-home moms. There are so many amazing things to learn about these women, and we’re so glad you could join us on our journey.
In conclusion, being a stay-at-home mom is a demanding but rewarding job. It’s clear that stay-at-home moms have a lot on their plates. Between caring for their families, maintaining the home, and often working from home as well, there is little time left for themselves.
Still, It’s important to remember that every mother is different and that there is no “right” way to do things. The most important thing is to do what works best for you and your family.
Thanks for sticking with us all the way through to the end! If you have any other questions or concerns about this data, please reach out! We’re happy to help.