More women now sole breadwinner (23%) or earn more of two working spouses (28%)

USA Today takes a look at recent Census data and finds women’s status as breadwinner continues to grow:

A USA TODAY analysis of Census Bureau data reveals a revolution in the traditional roles of men and women that extends from college campuses to the workplace to the neighborhoods across this nation. Today, when one spouse works full-time and the other stays home, it’s the wife who is the sole breadwinner in a record 23% of families, the analysis finds. When the Census started tracking this in 1976, the number was 6%.

Just as telling, wives outearn their husbands 28% of the time when both work, up from 16% 25 years ago. This means the wife is bringing home the bacon — or at least more bacon than her husband — in more than 12 million American families.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In, which explores workplace biases) and Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer (who limited the company’s telecommuting policy) have stirred debate about the complex choices occurring as women push themselves higher and higher up the economic ladder. The earning superiority of women over men isn’t the rule, but it is increasingly common.

This is a consequential shift.

I do think the rest of the article illustrates the difference between journalism and sociology. The article goes on to give 12 brief overviews of couples where the woman is the primary breadwinner. They try to break down a few patterns. However, after seeing these statistics, I want to see more data (12 cases doesn’t cut out) and a more rigorous analysis (more statistics over time, more social forces that these changes affect).

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