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Facts for Features
CB08-FF.08
March 13, 2008

Mother's Day: May 11, 2008

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Source: Survey of Income and Program Participation unpublished tabulations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 are mothers.
Source: Fertility of American Women <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility.html>

81%

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

How Many Children

2.1

The total fertility rate (TFR) in 2006 -- the first time since 1971 that the nation's TFR was at replacement level, which is the birth rate required to replace the population.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

94.1

Number of births in 2006 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Utah, which led the nation. At the other end of the spectrum was Vermont, with a rate of 52.2 births.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

94%

Among the 37.8 million mothers living with children younger than 18, the percentage who lived with their biological children only. In addition, 3 percent lived with stepchildren, 2 percent with adopted children and less than 1 percent with foster children.
Source: Living Arrangements of Children: 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb08-30.html>

Moms Who've Recently Given Birth

4.3 million

Number of births in the United States in 2006. Of this number, 435,427 were to teens 15 to 19, and 112,432 to mothers 40 or older.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

25.2

Average age of women in 2005 when they gave birth for the first time. This is up 3.8 years since 1970.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

40%

Percentage of births that were the mother's first in 2006. 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/births.htm>

37,402

Number of births in 2005 that did not occur in hospitals.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

1 in 31

The likelihood of a woman delivering twins in 2005. Her chances of delivering triplets and higher order multiple births was approximately 1 in 618.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

August

The month with the highest number of births, with 369,316 taking place that month in 2005.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

Tuesday

The day of the week with the highest number of births, with an average of 13,169 taking place on Tuesdays during 2005.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm>

Jacob and Emily

The most popular baby names for boys and girls, respectively, in 2006.
Source: Social Security Administration <http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/>

Mothers Remembered

21,135

Number of florist establishments nationwide in 2005. The 101,861 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: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html>

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 2006, accounting for 77 percent of domestic flower production ($316 million out of $411 million) in those states.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1072>

12,473

Number of employees of the 120 greeting-card publishing establishments in 2005.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html>

12,854

The number of cosmetics, beauty supplies and perfume stores nationwide in 2005. Perfume is one of the most popular gifts given on Mother's Day.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html>

29,624

Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2005 -- the place to purchase necklaces, earrings and other timeless pieces for mom.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html>

Working Moms (and Moms-to-Be)

5.6 million

Number of stay-at-home moms in 2006.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html>

55%

Among mothers with infants in 2004, the percentage in the labor force, down from a record high of 59 percent in 1998.
Source: Fertility of American Women <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility.html>

751,322

Number of child care centers across the country in 2005. These include more than 73,000 centers employing more than 800,000 workers and another 678,000 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: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html> 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%

The percentage of first-time mothers who worked one month or less before giving birth in the early part of this decade. This compares with 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 part of this decade 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

10.4 million

The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18, up from 3.4 million in 1970.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html>

6.1 million

Number of custodial mothers entitled to child support in 2005.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and their Child Support <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb07-132.html>

Meals with Mommy

54% and 79%

Percentages of children younger than 6 who eat breakfast and dinner, respectively, with their mother every day. The corresponding percentages who eat with their father were 41 percent and 66 percent.
Source: A Child's Day <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb07-156.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 XLII (Feb. 3)
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day (May 11)
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day (June 15)
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day (Sept. 1)
  • Grandparents Day (Sept. 7)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week (Sept. 21-27)
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27)
  • 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: February 10, 2014