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.
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.