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Facts for Features
CB11-FF.07
March 17, 2011

Mother's Day: May 8, 2011


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.

2

The total fertility rate or number of births per woman in the U.S. in 2009, a decline of 4 percent from 2008 (based on current birth rates by age).
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_03.pdf>

How Many Mothers

85.4 million

Estimated number of mothers in the United States in 2008.
Source: Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2008 Panel Wave 2, unpublished tabulations.

54%

Percentage of 15- to 44-year-old women who were mothers in 2008.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility.html>

82%

Percentage of women 40 to 44 who had given birth as of 2008. In 1976, 90 percent of women in that age group had given birth.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility.html>

How Many Children

2.6

The total fertility rate or number of births in 2008 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 total fertility rate of 1.7 births per woman.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.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 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

4.13 million

Number of births registered in the United States in 2009. Of this number, 409,840 were to teens 15 to 19 and 7,934 to mothers 45 to 54.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_03.pdf>

25.1

Average age of women in 2008 when they gave birth for the first time, up from 25.0 years in 2006 and 2007. The increase in the mean age from 2007 to 2008 reflects, in part, the relatively large decline in births to women under age 25 compared with the small decline for women in the 25-39 age bracket.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

40%

Percentage of births that were the mother's first in 2008. Another 32 percent were the second-born; 17 percent, third; and 7 percent, fourth.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

18,986

Number of births in 2008 that were the mother's eighth or more.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

42,746

Number of births in 2008 that did not occur in hospitals. Of these, 28,357 were in a residence (home) and 12,014 were in a freestanding birthing center.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

32.6

Number of twin births per 1,000 total births in 2008, the highest rate on record.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

6,268

Number of triplet and higher order multiple births in 2008, the lowest number reported in more than a decade. The 2008 triplet and higher order multiple total included 5,877 triplets, 345 quadruplets, and 46 quintuplets and higher order multiples.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

July

The month with the highest number of births, with 375,384 in 2008.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

Tuesday

The most common day to deliver, with an average of 13,415 births taking place on Tuesdays in 2008.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>

Jacob and Isabella

The most popular baby names for boys and girls, respectively, in 2009.
Source: Social Security Administration <http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/>

71

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: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility.html>

Mothers Remembered

18,509

Number of florist establishments nationwide in 2008. The 89,741 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: 2008 <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 2009, accounting for 75 percent of domestic flower production ($269 million out of $359 million at wholesale value) 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>

11,715

Number of employees of the 107 greeting-card publishing establishments in 2008.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

14,027

The number of cosmetics, beauty supplies and perfume stores nationwide in 2008. Perfume is a popular gift given on Mother's Day.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

26,683

Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2008 -- the place to purchase necklaces, earrings and other timeless pieces for mom.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

Stay-at-Home Moms

5 million

Number of stay-at-home moms in 2010 — down from 5.1 million in 2009 and 5.3 million in 2008 (the estimates for 2010 and 2009 are not statistically different). In 2010, 23 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb10-174.html; Table SHP-1 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.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 of mothers in the labor force).
  • Foreign-born (34 percent compared with 19 percent of mothers in the labor force).
  • Living with a preschool-age child (57 percent compared with 43 percent of mothers in the labor force).
  • Without a high school diploma (19 percent versus 8 percent of mothers in the labor force).

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)

61%

The proportion of mothers with a recent birth who were in the labor force increased from 57 percent in 2006 to 61 percent in 2008. Among states with higher than average levels of new mothers who were unemployed, the highest proportions were in Alabama (10 percent) and Michigan (9 percent), along with several states in the southeast United States.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility.html>

777,817

Number of child care centers across the country in 2008. These included 74,920 centers employing 884,235 workers and another 702,897 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: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/> and Nonemployer Statistics <http://www.census.gov/econ/nonemployer/>

Single Moms

9.9 million

The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2010, up from 3.4 million in 1970.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.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>

38%

Of the 4 million women 15 to 44 years old who had a birth in the last year, 1.5 million (38 percent) were to women who were not married, who were separated, or married but with an absent spouse. Of those 1.5 million mothers, 425,000 (28 percent) were living with a cohabit┬Čing partner.
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-563.pdf>

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 01, 2014