Every family — traditional and non-traditional alike — faces the decision of how much time to take off following the birth of a child — based on work schedule, employer provided leave, family time, income and the like. These decisions also take place when it comes to child rearing more broadly, something my family faces as well. Does a parent stay home or return to work? How does the answer to the question change based on age, educational attainment, income level, number of kids or sex of the parent? Today, our office is releasing a new report on stay-at-home parents in Oregon. While the broader, lifestyle and parental belief answers to the question of whether to stay at home or go to work are not easily answered, the breakdown of socioeconomic trends among Oregon’s stay-at-home parents is available.
The report’s executive summary:
The number of stay-at-home parents in Oregon is on the rise. Both the total number and the share of working age adults are at or near all-time highs. Even so, most Oregonians with children – about 80 percent today – either have a job or are looking for work. Each family – both traditional and nontraditional alike – weighs the costs and benefits of staying at home, and makes the decisions that is in their best interest. Economic conditions, job opportunities and child care costs have an impact on parents’ decisions, but so too do parental choices in child rearing. Nevertheless, this increase in stay-at-home parents crosses many categories like age of the child, age of the parent, educational attainment, number of children and even the sex of the parent. While mothers account for the vast majority of Oregon’s stay-at-home parents, 94 percent of the total, the share of fathers staying at home has doubled in the past decade. Today in Oregon more than 1 in 5 mothers are staying at home specifically to take care of family while just 1 in 100 fathers are. A broader category that includes parents staying at home for any reason shows that nearly 1 in 3 mothers are at home and 1 in 10 fathers are.
Browse through the facts and figures in the report below.