IW Staff

Three in four American families with young children rely on a mother’s earnings for some to all of their income. Yet mothers as a group, married or single, earn substantially less than fathers, according to a new analysis from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).

Married mothers earned 73.3% of married fathers’ earnings ($44,000, compared with $60,000), while single mothers earned 70.7% of what single fathers earned ($31,100, compared with $44,000) in 2015.

The analysis was released on May 23, Mothers Equal Pay Day, the day symbolizing how far into the year that mothers must work to earn what fathers earned in the previous year.

The analysis also found that, in American families with children, dual-earning married couples (51% of families with children) were the most common household type, while households headed by a single mother with earnings were the second most common type (19.7%). In all, almost three quarters (73.9%) of the 33 million American families with children included a working mother.

In 2015, all mothers’ earned $16,000 less than fathers for full-time, year-round work ($40,000 at the median for mothers, compared with $56,000 for fathers), a gender wage gap of 28.4%, substantially higher than the gender wage gap for working women overall at 20.4%.

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