A Dozen Fascinating Facts about Motherhood


Mothers, a tireless beacon of love and support, were given the second Sunday in May as a special day of recognition by Congress in 1914. Since then, we have celebrated mothers for their strength, persistence and unconditional love. Families have different needs, challenges and circumstances and without a guidebook, a mother has to adapt as her family grows. She sculpts the world in the way she raises her children. Did you know. . .

  1. There are 85 million mothers in the world, according to a U.S. Census report. Over 43 million mothers live in the United States alone. The latest numbers show that 3.9 million women between the ages of 15 and 50 gave birth in 2015.
  2. The average age of a first-time mom in 2014 was 26.3. That is up from 24.9 just 15 years ago. The trend of older first time mothers is expected to climb due to a decline in teen pregnancies which has fallen from 23 percent in 1999 to 13 percent in 2014. Experts believe that sex education and teen use of birth control are behind the decline.
  3. The great debate in recent years has been whether a mother should stay at home to raise her children or continue to work while her children are with another caregiver during the day. According to a Pew Research analysis, 29 percent of mothers stay home with their children, a number that is based on demographic, economic and societal factors. Since 1967 the number of stay-at-home mothers has steadily decreased from 49 percent to its low of 23 percent in 1999.
  4. The majority of mothers, roughly 70 percent, work part or full time outside of the house. And while that number has increased by 20 percent over the past 50 years, women’s contribution to their household income has only increased by 11 percent. The average daycare cost for a baby is $3,582 to $18,773 per year according to the National Association for Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies. Those costs have gone up a drastic 70 percent since 1985.
  5. Single mothers make up 9.9 million women living with at least one child under 18 in the U.S. That number is up 2.2 million from a study done in 1985. Single mothers are included in both the stay-at-home and working mother groups due to unemployment and co-habitating.
  6. Of the 3.9 million moms giving birth in the U.S. in 2014, 135,336 gave birth to twins – a birth rate of 33.9 per 1000 live births. Triplets or higher multiples make up one in every 880 births, a decrease of 41 percent since its peak in 1998.
  7. The cost of the hospital stay for delivering a baby, including pre-natal and post-natal care is $8,802 according to a March of Dimes study. A domestic adoption in the United States costs between $34,093 and $39,966. While infertility has many variables, the average price of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is $12,400.
  8. No matter how your baby arrives, the costs don’t end there. According to CNN Money in January 2017, the average middle income family will spend $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015. This number does not include a college education or a child who might have special needs.
  9. According to Baby Center, the five most popular girl’s names in 2018 are Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava and Sophia. For boys, the top names are Liam, Noah, Mason, Ethan and Lucas.
  10. Speaking of popularity, did you know that September is the most popular month to give birth? A study from 2014 shows September 12, 18, 25 and 26 as the most popular birthdates. Most newborns are born on a Tuesday, while Sunday has the least amount of births.
  11. World Bank data from 2014 shows the global sex ratio is 107 boys born for every 100 girls. In the United States, the average birth weight is 7 ¼ lbs with a height of 19.5 inches long, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
  12. So how do we celebrate our moms on Mother’s Day? According to Statistic Brain, Americans spend $20.7 billion on Mother’s Day – $1.9 billion of that is just for flowers. The average consumer spends $168.94 with homemade gifts topping the list followed by dinner, greeting cards, gift cards and flowers.

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About Author

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. It is the hardest and most rewarding job she has ever held.

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