You knew this would pull me out of my blog hiatus, right? The Washington Post has a front page story today that highlights the new Census findings that "stay-at-home moms" are typically younger and in less affluent families. Thus, the media obsession with highly compensated professional women who drop out of the workforce to be full-time parents is "largely beside the point."
Except that, this isn't such a new point. I pointed it out -- based on Census data -- oh, about four years ago. It wasn't so neatly packaged then, but the underlying data has been available for years and doesn't look like it's changed very much. (I'll be interested in seeing what the figures look like in a couple of years, when they're available for the recession period, but this is 2007 data, pre-recession.
There is some new info in the report from the American Community Survey, mostly about the geographic distribution of families -- previous tables were only based on the Current Population Survey, which doesn't have representative samples of small stats. Check out Figure 8, on page 15. Overall, Northern and Eastern states have a higher percentage of two-income married parent families that average, Western states have a lower percentage. But New York is lower than average. I'd love to see the NY-specific data on income -- New York is a big enough state that it's probably possible to do the run without having huge margins of error.