Research Outline

US Mothers


Support the creation of marketing personas, copy/design strategy, and media strategy for advertising targeting US mothers who a) go back to work after having a baby, and b) do not go back to work. Specifically, the report should include any information about age, religious orientation, sexual orientation, geography (urban vs rural, specific city/state trends), motivations, household income, general interests, buying habits, or any other information that can be used for media targeting.

The article linked here provides additional context.

Early Findings

Working Moms

  • 55% of moms with kids under 18 work full-time today, and overall, about 72% are employed.
  • One-quarter are solo moms.
  • 76% of working women with children under 18 are between 30-49.
  • 22% of moms are millennials.
  • The median age at which women become mothers in the U.S. is 26. They are however increasingly delaying motherhood through their 20s.
  • Working moms are likely to have older children. In 2019, the labor force participation rate of moms with children under age 6 was 66.4%, vs. 76.8% for moms whose youngest child was 6 to 17.
  • Working moms would ideally like to work less. 42% of adults say that part-time work is ideal, and 1/3 said no work at all is ideal. Only 16% say that full-time work for a mom is ideal.
  • They want to be rewarded: 81% of moms are more likely to engage if offered reward points.
  • Millennial moms are active influencers. They said they retweet or re-pinned products or services online 7.8x a month. They mostly shared information about clothing, shoes, and other accessories (93%), retail stores (91%) and groceries/food and beverages (90%).
Household Income:
  • Whether a mom is in the workforce is correlated to her husband's income in a U shape. When the husband makes a significant amount ($250,000 or higher a year), 46% of them are not in the labor force. On the other hand, when the husband makes less than $25,000 a year, 35% are stay at home moms. It's the moms in the middle, who are married to spouses with an income of $50,000- $75,000—which also covers the median income for husbands of $60,000—that don't stay home. 75% of that group is in the labor force. More information can be seen here.
  • 41% of mothers were the sole or primary breadwinners for their families. This is most prevalent in the Northeast. More information, including a state-by-state breakdown, can be found here.
Racial Breakdown:
  • 60.1% of breadwinning mothers were white; 16.2% Black; 16.4% Hispanic; and 7.3% non-Hispanic mothers of another race or ethnicity. However, this is also due to the racial makeup of motherhood; there are more white women having children. However, in relative terms, Black mothers are the most likely to be the breadwinner by a staggering margin. They're 2x as likely as white moms and more than 50% more likely than Hispanic moms. More information
Type of Work:
  • Many moms are working in low-paying jobs. 16.3% of working moms (1 in 6) who have children under age 18 are in low-wage jobs. 18.3% (one in five) who have children age 3 and under are in low-wage jobs.
Pain Points and Interests
  • The "maternal wall" describes a bias that working mothers encounter in the workplace once she returns, surrounding her dedication and ability to perform now that she has a child, and undermines their ability to advance in the workplace.
  • 43% of highly qualified women leave the workplace, or off-ramp from work, after having kids.
  • 31% of women who stopped working after having kids actually wanted to keep working, but could not make it work due to a rigid workplace.

Stay-At-Home Moms (SAHM)

  • 1 in 3 married-couple households in the US with kids under 18 have a stay-at-home parent (SAHP). Of those, 8 times out of 10, moms are more likely to be the one at home.
  • There is a positive correlation between family size and SAHP presence- cities with large families also tend to have families where one parent is at home.
  • The more educated a city's population is, the less likely it is to have SAHP.
  • Larger foreign-born populations also correlates to having more families with a SAHP.
  • Southern and Western states tend to have more SAHP versus the North and East.

US Cities with the Largest SAHP Population

Laredo, Texas- highest population of SAHM in the USA
  • Families with one stay-at-home parent: 52.1%; families with a stay-at-home mother: 47.3%
  • Average family size: 3.65
  • Population with a high school diploma or higher: 68.1%
  • Population that’s foreign-born: 28.3%
  • Families with one stay-at-home parent: 47.9%; families with a stay-at-home mother: 44.1%
  • Average family size: 4.43
  • Population with a high school diploma or higher: 57.1%
  • Population that’s foreign-born: 46.1%
  • Families with one stay-at-home parent: 45.9; families with a stay-at-home mother: 43.5%
  • Average family size: 2.77
  • Population with a high school diploma or higher: 78.6%
  • Population that’s foreign-born: 38.5%
  • Families with one stay-at-home parent: 45.4%; families with a stay-at-home mother: 43.5%
  • Families with a stay-at-home father: 1.9%
  • Average family size: 2.62
  • Population with a high school diploma or higher: 78.5%
  • Population that’s foreign-born: 30.3%
  • Families with one stay-at-home parent: 45.2%; families with a stay-at-home mother: 44.0%
  • Families with a stay-at-home father: 1.2%
  • Average family size: 2.70
  • Population with a high school diploma or higher: 91.9%
  • Population that’s foreign-born: 48.4%