More Women Now Make As Much As Their Husbands, But Still Do More At Home


Praca, Oferty Pracy

More women now make as much as their husbands, but still do more at home

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Few women will be surprised to learn that even when wives earn about the same or more than their husbands, a new Pew Research Center study shows they still spend more time on housework and childcare, while their husbands spend more time on paid work and leisure.

“Despite the fact that financial contributions in marriage have become more equal, the way couples divide their time between paid work and family life remains imbalanced,” notes Pugh.

So who earns what?


Pew found that in 29% of heterosexual marriages today, women and men earn about the same (about $60,000 each). “Husbands in egalitarian marriages spend about 3.5 hours more per week on leisure than wives. Wives in such marriages spend about 2 hours more per week on caregivers than husbands, and about 2.5 hours more on housework,” the study notes.

In 55% of different-sex marriages, men are the main or sole breadwinners, earning an average of $96,000 versus their wives’ $30,000.

At the same time, in 16% of marriages, wives earn more than their husbands as the main (10%) or sole breadwinners (6%). In these marriages, women earn an average of $88,000 versus their husbands’ $35,000.

Of all these categories, the only one in which men are reported to spend more time caring than their wives is when the woman is the sole breadwinner. And the time spent per week on household chores is divided equally between husbands and wives in these marriages.


In all cases, this is a big change from 50 years ago, when, for example, husbands were the main breadwinners in 85% of marriages.

Today, the women who are most likely to be the main or sole breadwinners can vary by age, marital status, education and race.

For example, Pew found that black women are “significantly more likely” than other women to earn more than their husbands. For example, 26% of black women bring home more than their husbands, while only 17% of white women and 13% of Hispanics bring home.

But college-educated black women with multiple children also tend to earn about the same as their husbands.


These figures are given against the backdrop of society’s attitudes about who should earn more and how care responsibilities should be shared between spouses.

Nearly half of Americans (48%) in a Pew poll said that husbands would rather earn more than their wives, and 13% said men would rather their wives earn about the same as they do.

What do women desire? 22% of Americans said that most women want their husband to earn more, and 26% said that most of them would like a man to earn about the same.

Meanwhile, when it comes to family, 77% said kids are better off when both parents are equally focused on their work and taking care of the kids. Only 19% said that children feel better when their mother pays more attention to family life and their father pays more attention to his work.

The Pew study is based on three data sources: income data from the current US Census population survey; data from the American Time Use Survey and a nationally representative public opinion poll of 5,152 American adults conducted in January.


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