Credit: Stockbyte

A recent report published by the Pew Research Institute indicates that more mothers are staying home full-time with their children, but possibly not by choice.

According to MSN, the study results — based on data from the US Census and other government sources — indicate that the percentage of stay-at-home moms rose to 29% in 2012, a sharp increase from the 23% calculated by the institute in 2008. These numbers include mothers who are disabled, enrolled in school, married, single, and those who say they are unable to work.

If you want to look at the hard numbers, two thirds of the 10.4 million have husbands who work full-time, and only 51% have children aged five and younger. Not surprisingly, the number of mothers who said that they cannot find employment increased from 1% in 2000 to 6% in 2012. The study also found that these stay-at-home moms are younger and less educated than those who work outside the home. Overall, 34% of these at-home mothers are living in poverty.

The number of what the study calls “affluent” stay-at-home mothers — those with a median household income over $75,000 and at least a master’s degree educational level — are almost white (69%) or Asian (19%). They account for only 5% of the total number of at-home moms.

Pew continues to cite several demographic, economic and societal factors for the marked increase in full-time moms. In terms of demographics, immigrant mothers make up 40% of those who are less likely to work outside the home. Among these mothers, 36% are living at poverty levels.

Although the report acknowledged changing views on working mothers since the 1970s, it seems as if the current public ambivalence thinks otherwise. "Most Americans continue to believe that it's best for children to have a parent at home,” said D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer of the Pew report.

What do you think, should moms work outside the home?

Source: MSN, Pew Research Institute