More wives are top-earning breadwinners

Released: 
March 25, 2013

A growing percentage of married women earn more than their husbands – 28 percent in 2011.

More married women are out-earning their husbands. In 2011, 28 percent of wives in two-income U.S. households made more their husbands. That’s up from 24 percent in 2001. In fact, top-earning wives have increased 65 percent since 1987.

Add families in which only the wife earns income, and overall, the percentage of wives out-earning husbands went up to 37.6 in 2011 – from 30.7 percent in 2001.

Watch our video for more on married women’s pay. See “What Do Others Say?” for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. Does today’s fact affect your views on pay equality? What’s the impact of women breadwinners on the American family?