The Number Of Stay-At-Home Mothers Increased After Decades Of Decline – Here’s Why

A new research reveals a rise in stay-at-home mothers, here's what you need to know.
A new research reveals a rise in stay-at-home mothers, here's what you need to know.

Recent research has found intriguing new things about stay-at-home moms that might surprise you. In a world when people tend to judge more than listen just because it is easier, we’re finally seeing it clearly: mothers sacrifice a lot to stay at home and care for their families. While the world has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, this change has happened because of specific factors that can no longer be ignored.

Mothers Prefer to Stay Home and Raise Their Children: a Report

As per recent research’s findings, the share of moms who don’t work outside the home rose to 29 % just in 2012. Over the last dozen years, that increase indicates a reversal of a long-term decline in “stay-at-home” moms that had continued for the last three decades of this century. Quite intriguing, right?

However, such a turnaround seems to be influenced by some factors, including:

  • a downturn in women’s labour force participation;
  • economic matters;
  • societal factors;
  • demographic factors;
  • a high impact of working moms on young children.

But the category of “stay-at-home” mothers doesn’t include only those who choose to stay at home only to take care of their families. They’re also women who stay at home because they cannot find work, are disabled or enrolled in school.

Moreover, researchers stated that the most significant share includes the so-called “traditional” mothers married to working husbands. The following thing might surprise you. Did you know that this group represented up to two-thirds of the world’s 10.4 million stay-at-home moms back in 2012? It’s genuinely intriguing.

Influenced more by the economic ups and downs

The research also highlights that the economic ups and downs have highly influenced mothers’ decisions on whether to go to work or stay home. How so?

With incomes stagnant lately for all, the college-educated, less educated workers may weigh more the cost of child care against earnings. So, they decide to stay home.

Married stay-at-home moms are more likely than cohabiting or single stay-at-home moms to state that they don’t work because they care for their kids. For example, only in 2021, 85 % of women said that.

Image source: Unsplash

The Demographic Profile

You should know that whether single, cohabiting, or married, every category of stay-at-home moms has a demographic profile very different from that of their working counterparts (and from each other’s, of course).

Back in 2012, approximately 42 % of mothers were younger than 35. Such a result compares with about 35 % of working moms. And that’s not all.

Half of the stay-at-home mothers care for at least one kid age 5 or younger, in comparison with 41 % of working moms. One of the most striking demographic differences, though, between stay-at-home moms and working ones relates to their economic well-being, which is just unfortunate.

A third of stay-at-home moms are living in poverty. Such a thing is not only heart-breaking but also unfair.

As decades pass, so our beliefs and choices of staying at home – whether it’s because of economic matters or education – change. One thing is for sure. Mothers need support and counselling about taking the best decision to take care of their families.

Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.