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A New Day? Income Numbers

A New Day? Income Numbers April 1, 2013

From Dennis Cauchon:

She’s a soldier. He’s a stay-at-home dad.

She works at a booming software company. He’s starting a graphic design business.

She’s a business executive and electrical engineer. He’s quit many jobs to move for her career advancements.

These are real-life examples of how changing gender roles and an evolving economy have reshaped American society in barely a generation — from an Ozzie and Harriet nation found in the classic 1950s sitcom to one in which Harriet is increasingly the breadwinner while Ozzie stays home with the kids.

A USA TODAY analysis of Census Bureau data reveals a revolution in the traditional roles of men and women that extends from college campuses to the workplace to the neighborhoods across this nation. Today, when one spouse works full-time and the other stays home, it’s the wife who is the sole breadwinner in a record 23% of families, the analysis finds. When the Census started tracking this in 1976, the number was 6%.

Just as telling, wives outearn their husbands 28% of the time when both work, up from 16% 25 years ago. This means the wife is bringing home the bacon — or at least more bacon than her husband — in more than 12 million American families.


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