Increasing Number of Single Moms

In the United States, there has been a rise in the number of single moms over time. Three things seem to be the most important. In the first place, women are becoming more economically independent. With enough money, women who aren’t married can be picky about when and who they marry. They can leave bad relationships and raise kids on their own. All else being equal, single mothers will be more common in a society where women are more economically independent, so this is what will happen.

American women have made steady progress towards economic independence over the last century thanks to higher hourly wages, more control over child-bearing, and new technology that makes housework take less time. Young women have been more and more likely to work since the turn of the century. They have also been more likely to stay at work longer. By 1970, more than half of all women in the United States were working or looking for jobs. By 1990, almost three-quarters of them were. 98. The rise in welfare benefits in the 1950s and 1960s may have made poor women less dependent on men by giving them another source of money. Many other changes made it easier for women, rich and poor, to live alone without a husband. Welfare, for example, was just a tiny part of this more significant change.

Drop in Menā€™s Earning Power

Another reason why single motherhood is on the rise is that men’s earning power has dropped. During the years after World War II, both men and women had a lot to be thankful for. It was a good time for both men and women to get a raise or find a job in the 1950s and 1960s when women became more self-sufficient. Women could live on their own, but the economic benefits of marriage kept going up, so more women could afford to live alone. After 1970, however, the gender gap in earnings (women’s earnings divided by men’s earnings) started to close down more. Women made Fifty-nine percent more money in 1970 than men. By 1980, they made 65 percent more money. By 1990, they made 74 percent more money, too..

More reasons in next week’s post…

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