More U.S. women are staying at home full-time to raise their children, according to a new Pew Research Center report released Tuesday.
Factors cited by Pew to explain the increase include more immigrant mothers, who tend to stay home with children in greater numbers than U.S.-born moms; more women unable to find work; and ambivalence about the impact of working mothers on young children.
The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29 percent in 2012, up from a low of 23 percent at the turn of the century. At the height of the recession in 2008, Pew estimated 26 percent of mothers were home with children.
The 29 percent includes women who are married, single, disabled, enrolled in school or unable to find work.
The largest share of at-home mothers — roughly two-thirds of 10.4 million — had working husbands. A growing share — 6 percent in 2012, up from 1 percent in 2000 — said they could not find a job.
No matter what their marital status, mothers at home are younger and less educated than working counterparts, the report said. Most married moms said they were home specifically to care for the kids, while single mothers were more likely to say they couldn’t find a job, were ill or disabled or were in school.
Among all at-home mothers in 2012, 51 percent had at least one child 5 or younger, compared with 41 percent of working mothers.
The researchers said one of the most striking demographic differences between at-home mothers and working mothers is their economic well-being, with about 34 percent of at-home mothers living in poverty, compared with 12 percent of working mothers.