Here are a bunch of interesting statistics about Mothers and Mother's Day for you from the US Census Bureau:
The first Mother’s Day observance was a church service in 1908 requested by Anna Jarvis, of Philadelphia, to honor her deceased mother. Jarvis, at an early age, had heard her mother express hope that a day to commemorate all mothers would be established. Her mother had also expressed the sentiment that there were many days dedicated to men but none to mothers. Two years after her mother’s death, Jarvis and friends began a letter-writing campaign to declare a national Mother’s Day observance to honor mothers. In 1914, Congress passed legislation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
the estimated number of mothers of all ages in the United States. (From unpublished Survey of Income and Program Participation data.)
Percentage of women in Mississippi, ages 15 to 44, who are mothers. This is among the highest rates among states. The national average is 56 percent.
Percentage of women 40 to 44 years old who are mothers. In 1976, 90 percent of women in that age group were mothers.
Number of women who have babies each year. Of this number, about 425,000 are teens ages 15 to 19, and more than 100,000 are age 40 or over.
Average age of women when they give birth for the first time [PDF] — a record high. The average age has risen nearly four years since 1970.
Percentage of births that are the mother’s first [PDF]. Another 32 percent are the second-born; 17 percent, third; and 11 percent, fourth or more.
Number of births in 2002 [PDF] attended by physicians, midwives or others that do not occur in hospitals.
above flowers designed and photographed by Sean Alvarez
Number of florists nationwide in 2002. The florists’ 119,117 employees will be especially busy preparing, selling and delivering floral arrangements for Mother’s Day.
The flowers bought for mom probably were grown in California or Colombia. Among the 36 surveyed states, California was the leading provider of cut flowers in 2003, accounting for more than two-thirds of the domestic production ($306 million out of $425 million) in those states. Meanwhile, the value of U.S. imports of cut flowers and fresh flower buds in 2004 from Colombia, the leading foreign supplier to the United States, was more than $385 million.
Revenue of greeting-card publishers nationwide in 2002. The 15,859 employees of the 119 greeting-card publishing companies are especially busy creating Mother’s Day greeting cards.
Number of Mother’s Day cards expected to be given this year in the United States, making Mother’s Day the third-largest card-sending occasion.
(Source: Hallmark research)
The odds of a woman delivering twins. Her odds of having triplets or other multiple births was approximately 1-in-540.
The number of single mothers living with children under 18 years old, up from 3 million in 1970.
The most popular month in which to have a baby, with 359,000 births taking place that month in 2002. July, with 358,000, was just a shade behind.
The most popular day of the week in which to have a baby, with an average of almost 13,000 births taking place on Tuesdays during 2002.
How Many Children
Average number of children that women today can expect to have in their lifetime.
Average number of children that women in Utah and Alaska can expect to have in their lifetime. These two states top the nation in average number of births per woman.
Only about 10 percent of women today end their childbearing years with four or more children- that compares with 36 percent in 1976.
Among mothers with infant children in 2002, the percentage in the labor force, down from a record 59 percent in 1998. This marks the first significant decline in this rate since the Census Bureau began calculating this measure in 1976. In that year, 31 percent of mothers with infants were in the labor force.
Among college-educated women with infant children, the percentage in the labor force.
Among mothers between ages 15 and 44 who do not have infants, 72 percent are in the labor force.
More than 687,000
Number of child day-care centers across the country in 2002. These include nearly 69,000 centers employing close to 750,000 workers and another 618,000 self-employed persons or other companies without paid employees. Many mothers turn to these centers to help juggle motherhood and career.
About 2 million
Among more than 10 million preschoolers, the number who are cared for in a day-care center during the bulk of their mother’s working hours.
Individual source links for each statement herein may be accessed on the Internet at