NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 9, 2004

More moms are forgoing the work world to stay at home with their children, reports USA Today. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that number increased to 5.4 million in 2003.

Furthermore, the Current Population Survey reveals:

  • Twenty percent of stay-at-home moms live in households earning more than $100,000, while 2.3 percent of stay-at-home moms live in households with incomes less than $10,000.
  • Of the moms who stay at home, 88 percent do so primarily to care for children, and 42 percent of the moms cared for children under the age of three.
  • About 98,000 fathers stay at home and care for children, with the majority (81 percent) citing illness or disability that kept them from working.

The reasons given by families for staying home with their children include lack of affordable and quality day care. Indeed, day care expenses can consume up to 50 percent of a working mother's income, making having a job not worth the expenses. Some also point out the stress of trying to "do it all" by holding down a full-time job and raising children at the same time.

Judith Stacy, professor of sociology at New York University, notes that many young women still want both careers and children, but have become more flexible in their expectations.

Source: Sharon Jayson, "Census: 5.4 Million Mothers are Choosing to Stay at Home," USA Today, December 1, 2004.

For text


Browse more articles on Government Issues