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Think sustainability for Mother’s Day this year
Remembering moms on Mother's Day

Facts and figures for Mother’s Day this year

The driving force behind Mother's Day was Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908.

Mother's Day 2010 045As the annual celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis asked members of Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers. She succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

What’s happening for Mother’s Day this year?

Consumers will spend an average of $168.94 on mom, up 11 percent from last year’s $152.52, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Total spending is expected to reach $20.7 billion.

While traditional gifts such as flowers, clothing, and gift cards will still be popular, many consumers will stretch their budget this year and treat mom to a tablet, smartphone, or necklace she’s had her eye on.

The survey found 14 percent – the highest in the survey’s history – of shoppers this Mother’s Day will spend more than $2.3 billion on electronics, up from $1.6 billion last year. More than one-third of gift givers will buy jewelry, spending a total of $4.2 billion, up from $3.7 billion last year.

In addition, gift givers will spend money on a special outing, such as brunch or dinner, $3.5 billion; flowers, $2.3 billion; gift cards, $2 billion; clothing or clothing accessories, $1.7 billion; and personal service gifts, such as a day at the spa, $1.5 billion.

Here are facts and figures from the U.S. Census Bureau on moms for Mother’s Day this year:

How many mothers

4.1 million

Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who gave birth in the past 12 months.


Percentage of 15- to 44-year-old women who were mothers in 2010.


Percentage of women who had become mothers by age 40 to 44 as of 2010. In 1976, 90 percent of women in that age group had given birth.


The fertility rate or estimated number births per 1,000 women in Utah in 2010, which led the nation. The state with the lowest fertility rate is Rhode Island, with 1,630.5 births per 1,000 women.


Percentage of all women age 15 to 44 who have had two children. About 47 percent had no children, 17 percent had one, 10 percent had three, and about 5 percent had four or more.


Percentage of all children who lived with their biological mothers in 2012. About 1.2 percent of all children lived with a stepmother.

Recent births

3.954 million

Number of births registered in the United States in 2011. Of these, 329,797 were to teens 15 to 19 and 7,651 to women age 45 to 49.


Average age of women in 2010 when they gave birth for the first time, up from 25.2 years in 2009.


The percentage of mothers who had given birth in the past 12 months who had a bachelor's degree or higher and 84 percent of mothers have at least a high school diploma.

Jacob and Sophia

The most popular baby names for boys and girls in 2011.

Stay-at-home moms

5 million

Number of stay-at-home moms in 2012 – about the same for 2009, 2010, and 2011 – down from 5.3 million in 2008. In 2012, 24 percent of married-couples with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couples with children under 15 households, about the same for 2012.

Employed moms


Percentage of women age 16 to 50 who had a birth in the past 12 months who were in the labor force.

Single moms

10.3 million

The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2012, up from 3.4 million in 1970.

5.9 million

Number of custodial mothers who were owed child support in 2009.


Percentage of births in the past 12 months that were to women age 15 to 50 who were unmarried, including divorced, widowed, and never married women.

In 2011, 407,873 mothers who had a birth in the past 12 months were living with a cohabiting partner.

So best wishes to moms everywhere on this important holiday. There’s no job more difficult or rewarding than being a mom. What mom’s do every day in caring for their children contributes to the health and wellbeing of our society.

Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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