According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the driving force behind Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis. Jarvis organized observances in Grafton, West Virginia, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1908. Once the celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis petitioned members of Congress to celebrate a day to honor mothers. In 1914 Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
The Census Bureau also collects several other data facts centering on mothers including:
- 85.4 million mothers in the United States in 2009 (Source: Survey of Income and Program Participation, unpublished tabulations)
- Fifty-three Percentage (53%) of 15- to 50-year-old women were mothers in 2010 (Source: Fertility of American Women: 2010)
- Eighty-one Percentage (81%) of women became mothers by age 40 to 44 as of 2010. The rate was 90 percent in 1976 (Source: Fertility of American Women: 2010)
- Twenty Percentage (20%) of all women age 15 to 44 have had two children. Approximately 47 percent (47%) had no children, 17 percent (17%) had one, 10 percent (10%) had three and about 5 percent had four or more (Source: Fertility of American Women: 2010).
- 4.13 million births registered in the United States in 2009. 409,840 were to teens 15 to 19 while only 7,934 women age 45 to 54 (Source: National Center for Health Statistics).
- Twenty-five point one (25.1) was the average age of women when giving birth for the first time in 2008 (Source: National Center for Health Statistics).
- Twenty-seven point three percent (27.3%) of mothers who gave birth had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2008. New Hampshire had the highest percentage of recent mothers with bachelor or higher with 48 percent. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland also had percentages higher than the national average (Source: Fertility of American Women: 2008).
- Five million stay-at-home moms in 2011 (same as in 2010). This was down from 5.1 million in 2009 and 5.3 million in 2008 (Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements).
- Fifty-five percent (55%) of mothers in 2010, with a recent birth, were in the labor force. This decreased slightly from 57 percent in 2008 (Source: Fertility of American Women: 2010).
- 10 million single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2011. This was up from 3.4 million in 1970. (Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements ).
- Of the 3.7 million (38%) women age 15 to 44 years old who had a birth in 2011, 1.4 million (39%) were to single women, separated, or married but with an absent spouse (Source: Fertility of American Women: 2010).
Most facts were extracted from the U.S. Census Bureau’s website: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff08.html