Most Common and Uncommon Majors for Stay-at-Home Moms

by McLeod Brown
Study - 3 years ago

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While women in the working force have come a long way since the mid-1900s, recent studies show that the share of mothers who do not work outside the home has risen in the last decade.

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 29% of mothers with children under 18 did not work outside the home in 2012.. While this is nowhere near the 49% mark of 1967, it is an increase from the 23% mark of 1999.

The researchers note that declines in the female labor force participation rate and increase in immigration are possible explanations for the rise.

The study goes on to detail that stay-at-home mothers are less likely than working mothers to be white (51% are white, compared with 60% of working mothers). Additionally, stay-at-home mothers are more likely to be immigrants (33% to 20%).

We wanted to expand on the 25% of 2012’s stay-at-home mothers who graduated from college. We analyzed data from Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) to gain a better understanding of what higher education backgrounds stay-at-home mothers come from. Looking at a broad set of majors, we focused on what percent of stay-at-home moms studied each major.

Summary of findings

  • Electrical Engineering Technology (37%) is the major with the largest percentage of stay-at-home moms
  • Four majors have a stay-at-home mom rate of over 30%
  • Six of the top 11 majors with the highest percentage of stay-at-home moms fall under the engineering umbrella
  • Educational Administration and Supervision has the lowest percentage of stay-at-home moms with 7%
    • Nursing is just above with nearly 10% being stay-at-home mothers

    How we did it

    We then looked at the percent of women that were stay at home compared to working where we defined “stay at home” as having not worked in the last calendar year (for whatever reason).

    For example, the amount of working women who majored in accounting and were of working age in the study was 386,572. The number of working-age, stay-at-home moms with the same major was 83,300

    To find the percentage, we added the two numbers and then divided the stay-at-home figure by the total count.

    Accounting: 386,572 + 83,300 = 469,872

    Then: 83,300 / 469,872 = 17.7%

    Thus, 17.7% of women who majored in accounting are stay-at-home moms.

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