IPPR think tank: one in three UK working mothers are breadwinners

Lauren Fedor
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One-third of working women are the primary earners in their households. (Source: Getty)

One in three working mothers in Britain are the breadwinners in their families, according to a new report out today from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

IPPR, a think tank, found that the proportion of maternal breadwinners rose from 23 per cent nearly two decades ago to 33 per cent in 2013. The think tank said most of the growth was recorded before 2011.

While IPPR found that so-called maternal breadwinning was more prevalent in low and middle-income households, the think tank also reported that the largest increases in the number of breadwinning mothers were recorded “in the middle” of the income distribution.

Commenting on the report, IPPR senior research fellow Giselle Cory said: “With women’s – and especially mothers’ – employment rates having risen, dual earner couples are more common.”

Cory added that the government should “respond to diverse families structures in Britain, by making flexible work more available, making parental leave arrangements truly equitable, increasing the availability of high-quality, affordable childcare and working towards truly equal pay.”

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