Of the 14.1 million girls and young women of color, age 10–24, in the United States, 40.7 percent (5,748,760) live in the South, 23.2 percent in the Pacific West, 14.9 percent in the Northeast, 10.4 percent in East North Central, 7.3 percent in the Mountain West, and 3.5 percent in West North Central, as shown in Map 1.
Of the 42.3 million women of color, age 18 and older, in the United States, 41.5 percent (17,537,563) live in the South, 23.2 percent in the Pacific West, 16.3 percent in the Northeast, 9.8 percent in East North Central, 6.4 percent in the Mountain West, and 2.9 percent in West North Central.
With the large majority of U.S. mothers in the labor force and a steady decline in the real earnings of all workers over recent decades, families are increasingly relying on mothers’ earnings for economic stability. In the United States, half of all households with children under 18 have a breadwinner mother, who is either a single mother who heads a household, irrespective of earnings, or a married mother who provides at least 40 percent of the couple’s joint earnings.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of data from the American Community Survey finds that between 2004 and 2014, Black women’s real median annual earnings for full-time, year-round work declined by 5.0 percent—more than three times as much as women’s earnings overall.
Given the importance of higher education to a family’s economic security and their children’s future success, ensuring that student parents have access to affordable, quality care must be a priority for educational institutions, higher education advocates, and policymakers.
Over the last few decades, women’s increased labor force participation, education, and earnings have helped many women attain economic security. Yet, a substantial number of women in the United States face economic hardship.