More and more women earn as much as their husbands, but they still do more at home | spcilvly


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

“Even as financial contributions have become more equal in marriages, the way couples divide their time between paid work and home life remains unbalanced,” Pew noted.

So who wins what?

Pew found that in 29% of current heterosexual marriages, women and men earn about the same (about $60,000 each). “Husbands in same-sex marriages spend approximately 3.5 hours more per week on leisure activities than wives. Wives in these marriages spend approximately 2 hours more per week on caregiving than husbands and around 2.5 hours more on domestic tasks,” the study states.

In 55% of opposite-sex marriages, men are the main or sole breadwinners, earning an average of $96,000 compared to $30,000 for their wives.

Meanwhile, 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 compared to $35,000 for their husbands.

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

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

Today, women who are most likely to be the primary or sole breadwinners may vary by age, family status, education, and race.

For example, Pew found that black women are “much 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 Hispanic women do.

But black women with a college degree or higher and few children at home are also among those most likely to earn about the same as their husbands.

These figures are presented in the context of societal attitudes about who should earn more and how care should be shared between spouses.

Nearly half of Americans (48%) in the Pew survey said husbands prefer to earn more than their wives, while 13% said men would prefer their wives to earn about the same as they do.

What do women want? Twenty-two percent of Americans said most women want a husband who earns more, while 26% said most would want a man who earns about the same.

Meanwhile, when it comes to having a family, 77% said children are better off when both parents focus equally on their work and caring for the children. Only 19% said children are better off when their mother concentrates more on home life and their father concentrates more on her work.

The Pew study draws on three data sources: income data from the US Census Current Population Survey; data from the American Time Use Survey and a nationally representative survey of public attitudes among 5,152 American adults conducted in January.

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