After three decades of decline, the share of stay-at-home mothers in the United States has steadily increased from 23% in 1999 to 29% in 2012, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. The Pew analysis accounts for various factors that can be attributed to this trend:
Pew attributed the rise of stay-at-home mothers to a mix of demographic, economic and societal factors. The vast majority of married stay-at-home mothers, 85%, say they are doing so by choice in order to care for their families. That rate is much lower for single stay-at-home mothers, at 41%, and cohabitating mothers, at 64%.
The report also found a drop in women working because of the recession, a trend that has lingered as the economy recovers. Pew cited an increase in immigrant families, for whom it is more common to have a mother stay at home with her children, and an increase in the number of women who said they were disabled and unable to work.
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