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On Parenting
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/10/2012

Mother’s Day, by the numbers

Before any particular mother gets the idea that this upcoming Sunday is her “special day,” the U.S. Census has released its annual roundup of information on mothers in the U.S., letting us know that we mothers are a vast — and diverse — lot.

We total about 85.4 million, with about four million giving birth in the past year.

The average age for giving birth? In 2008, the last year recorded, it was 25.1 years old. That 0.1 is important because it represents a slight age increase from the previous two years. Analysts say that increase is due mostly to fewer births among the younger set of mothers.

The number of stay-at-home mothers has remained relatively stable given the tumultuous economy.

In 2011, 23 percent of married mothers with children under 15 were classified as stay-at-home. In 2007, before the recession, it was 24 percent.

What has spiked over the years is the number of single mothers. In 2011, 10 million mothers of children 18 or younger were single. In 1970, that number was just 3.4 million.

In 2010, about 39 percent of women who gave birth were not married, or were separated, or “married but with an absent spouse,” according to the census.

Many of us agree on one thing — young or old, single or married, working or stay-at-home — we liked the names Jacob and Isabella.

In 2010 those topped the favorite baby names.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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By  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/10/2012

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