Move over, June Cleaver. Stay-at-home moms today are more likely to be younger, lower income, Hispanic or foreign born than their working counterparts.
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New census data collected by the U.S. government on families and households compared married stay-at-home mothers with other married women — who either worked themselves, had husbands who didn't work or did not cite caring for home and family as the reason they didn't work. There were 24 million of the couples with children under the age of 15 in 2007. Of them, 24 percent included a stay-at-home mother, which the census defined as a woman who said her husband worked while she stayed home in order to care for her family.
The stay-at-home moms were also more likely to have younger children and less education than working mothers.
Just 5.1 percent of working moms were below poverty level in 2006, while 12.3 percent of stay-at-home moms fell into that category. That is at least partly because the stay-at-home moms belonged to one-income families, while working mothers are part of a dual-income household, the report said.
What about stay-at-home dads? The census data showed 165,000 such fathers in 2007, or less than 0.1 percent of married-parent families with young children.
Families with two parents in the labor force were most common in the Midwest and Northeast, with the exception of New York. Such families were least likely to live in the West and Southwest, excluding Nevada and Oregon.
Data was collected in February, March and April 2007.
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