Report: 9 Out of 10 Black Mothers in D.C. Are Breadwinners



About 90 percent of black mothers in D.C. are family breadwinners, a new study says.

Compare that to the less than 50 percent of white mothers who qualify as family breadwinners.

The study, performed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, defines breadwinner mothers as single head-of-household mothers, as well as those who make at least 40 percent of a married couple’s joint earnings. The mother has to have children below the age of 18 to qualify.

Of 22,648 D.C. households with black mothers in 2014, 88 percent — just 15 percent married, compared to 73 percent single — had female breadwinners. In other words, just 12 percent of households with a black mother had male breadwinners that year.

At the same time, of 12,782 D.C. households with white mothers, 49 percent had female breadwinners; 37 percent of the white mothers were married while just 12 percent were single. So 51 percent of households in the District with white mothers featured male breadwinners.

Among black families, this is a greater disparity than at the national level, where a little more than 81 percent of black mothers are breadwinners. For white families, the numbers are almost exactly even with the national average; nationally, it comes out to about 49.6 percent of white-mother households having female breadwinners.

At the national level, black families had the greatest propensity to have female breadwinners, followed by Native American families (67.1%), multiracial or “other” families (59.9%), Hispanic families (52.5%), white families, and Asian or Pacific Islander families (44.2%).

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