Women’s Wages Account for Much of Rise in Household Income

After controlling for inflation, the average annual income of married heterosexual couples with kids rose by 25.3 percent since 1969, according to a recent report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau. Women’s wages accounted for all but 1.5 percent of that increase, and contributed substantially to the rise of income among married, heterosexual, childless couples as well.

Census statisticians also found that the percentage of married mothers who worked in full-time, year-round jobs rose from 17 to 39 percent between 1969 and 1996. The number of full-time working women who were married but do not have children increased from 42 to 60 percent among those under 40, and from 31 to 46 percent for those 40-64 years old. The median (mid-point at which half are below, half are above) income of single mothers rose by 10 percent.

The recent analysis also shows that income disparity may be on the rise. The average income of households at or below the median increased by only 3.9 percent, which in income of those above the median increased by 30 percent.


AP - August 31, 1998]

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