Published On: Sat, Nov 21st, 2015

What Percentage Of U.S. Wives Earn More Than Their Husbands? [Infographic]

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How common is it for a wife to earn more than her husband in the United States? Back in 1987, only 17.8 percent of American wives outearned their husbands, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even though the situation is gradually improving, it quite rare to find a wife that takes home more money than her husband. In 2013, 29.3 percent of American wives were the main breadwinners in US families (where both wives and husbands have earnings).


Statistics and facts on Families in the U.S.

The typical American family consists of 3 people on average, a figure that has been more or less consistent over the years. At the same time, the number of family households with children younger than 18 years has decreased: while children lived in more than half of American family households in the seventies, this amount has decreased to 43.3 percent in 2013, reflecting the steady decline of the birth rate in the United States.

The traditional composition of the family seems no longer prevalent, a theory supported by the rising number of children living with a single parent, and the divorce rate in the United States. Interestingly enough, the number of married couples in the United States has been slightly increasing over the last fifty years.

As for family values, the younger generations seem to welcome the abandonment of traditional roles of husbands and wives, however, the increase of working mothers with young children is not considered to be a good thing – it remains unclear if this is due to traditional gender roles, since the increasing number of unmarried parents is widely accepted nowadays.

This chart shows the % of US wives earning more than their husbands from 1987 to 2013.

Infographic: How Many US Wives Earn More Than Their Husbands?  | Statista

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