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Facts for Features
CB10-FF.09
March 9, 2010

Mother's Day: May 9, 2010

The driving force behind Mother's Day was Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. As the annual celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis asked members of Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers. She finally succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

How Many Mothers

82.8 million

Estimated number of mothers in the United States in 2004.
Source: Survey of Income and Program Participation unpublished tabulations

55%

Percentage of 15- to 44-year-olds who were mothers in 2006.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility/cps2006.html>

80%

Percentage of women 40 to 44 who had given birth as of 2006. In 1976, 90 percent of women in that age group had given birth.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility/cps2006.html>

How Many Children

2.1

The total fertility rate (TFR) or number of births per woman in the U.S. in 2007 (based on current birth rates by age). This marks the second consecutive year in which the rate has been above replacement level.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_12.pdf>

2.6

The TFR or number of births in 2006 per woman in Utah (based on current birth rates by age), which led the nation. At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, with a TFR of 1.7 births per women.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

94%

Among the 37.8 million mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2004, the percentage who lived with their biological children only. In addition, 3 percent lived with any stepchildren, 2 percent with any adopted children and less than 1 percent with any foster children.
Source: Living Arrangements of Children: 2004 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p70-114.pdf>

Moms Who've Recently Given Birth

4.3 million

Number of births registered in the United States in 2007. Of this number, 445,045 were to teens 15 to 19 and 7,349 to mothers 45 to 54.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_12.pdf>

25.0

Average age of women in 2006 when they gave birth for the first time, down from 25.2 years in 2005. This marks the first decline since this measure became available in 1968.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

40%

Percentage of births that were the mother's first in 2007. Another 32 percent were the second-born; 17 percent, third; and 11 percent, fourth or more.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_12.pdf>

18,674

Number of births in 2006 that were the mother's eighth or more.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

38,568

Number of births in 2006 that did not occur in hospitals. Of these, 24,970 births occurred at home and 10,781 were in free-standing birthing centers.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>
<http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_11.pdf>

32.1

Number of twin births per 1,000 total births in 2006.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

153.3

Number of triplet and higher order multiple births per 100,000 total births in 2006.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

August

The month with the highest number of births, with 387,798 taking place that month in 2006.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

Wednesday

The most common day of the week to deliver, with an average of 13,482 births taking place on Wednesdays during 2006. This is the first time since at least 1990 that a day other than Tuesday had this distinction.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>

Jacob and Emma

The most popular baby names for boys and girls, respectively, in 2008.
Source: Social Security Administration <http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/>

67

Number of births in the past year per 1,000 women 15 to 50 with a graduate or professional degree. These women have a higher fertility rate than those with any other level of education.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility/cps2006.html>

Mothers Remembered

19,759

Number of florist establishments nationwide in 2007. The 93,779 employees in floral shops across our nation will be especially busy preparing, selling and delivering floral arrangements for Mother's Day.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

The flowers bought for mom have a good chance of having been grown in California. Among the 15 surveyed states, California was the leading provider of cut flowers in 2008, accounting for 78 percent of domestic flower production ($314 million out of $403 million) in those states. (The data pertain only to operations with sales greater than or equal to $100,000.)
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1072>

11,662

Number of employees of the 126 greeting-card publishing establishments in 2007.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

14,194

The number of cosmetics, beauty supplies and perfume stores nationwide in 2007. Perfume is one of the most popular gifts given on Mother's Day.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

27,484

Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2007 -- the place to purchase necklaces, earrings and other timeless pieces for mom.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

Stay-at-Home Moms

5.1 million

Number of stay-at-home moms in 2009 -- down from 5.3 million in 2008. In 2009, 22.6 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, down from 23.7 percent in 2008.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb10-08.html>

Compared with other moms, stay-at-home moms in 2007 were more likely to be:

  • Younger (44 percent were under 35 compared with 38 percent of mothers in the labor force).
  • Hispanic (27 percent compared with 16 percent).
  • Foreign-born (34 percent compared with 19 percent).
  • Living with a preschool-age child (57 percent compared with 43 percent).
  • Without a high school diploma (19 percent versus 8 percent).

Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb09-132.html>

Employed Moms (and Moms-to-Be)

57%

Among mothers 15 to 50 with infants in 2006, the percentage in the labor force. A cluster of states in the Midwest and also Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut had rates higher than the national average.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility/cps2006.html>

766,052

Number of child care centers across the country in 2007. These include 74,763 centers employing 853,648 workers and another 691,289 self-employed people or other businesses without paid employees. Many mothers turn to these centers to help juggle motherhood and careers.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/> and
Nonemployer Statistics <http://www.census.gov/econ/nonemployer/>

67%

Percentage of women who gave birth for the first time between 2001 and 2003 and worked during their pregnancy. This compares with 44 percent who gave birth for the first time between 1961 and 1965.
Source: Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns: 1961-2003 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/employment_occupations/cb08-33.html>

80%

Among first-time mothers who worked during their pregnancy, the percentage who worked one month or less before giving birth in the early 2000s. This compares with 35 percent who did so between 1961 and 1965.
Source: Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns: 1961-2003 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/employment_occupations/cb08-33.html>

55%

The percentage of first-time mothers in the early 2000s who were working by the sixth month after they gave birth. In the early 1960s, the corresponding percentage was 14 percent.
Source: Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns: 1961-2003 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/employment_occupations/cb08-33.html>

83%

The percentage of mothers who went back to work within a year of their child's birth who returned to the same employer. Seven in 10 of these women returned to jobs at the same pay, skill level and hours worked per week.
Source: Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns: 1961-2003 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/employment_occupations/cb08-33.html>

Single Moms

9.9 million

The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2009, up from 3.4 million in 1970.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2009.html>

5.6 million

Number of custodial mothers who were due child support in 2007.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/childsupport/cs07.html>

36%

Percentage of women 15 to 50 with a birth in the past year who were not currently married.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2009.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 09, 2014