The driving force behind Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. As the annual celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis asked members of Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers. She succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Here are some statistics about mothers and Mother’s Day, as provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
• 4.1 million - Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who gave birth in the past 12 months.
• 53 percent - Percentage of 15- to 44-year-old women who were mothers in 2010.
• 81 percent - Percentage of women who had become mothers by age 40 to 44 as of 2010. In 1976, 90 percent of women in that age group had given birth.
• 2,449 - The total fertility rate or estimated number of total births per 1,000 women in Utah in 2010 (based on current birth rates by age), which led the nation. At the other end of the spectrum is Rhode Island, with a total fertility rate of 1,630.5 births per 1,000 women.
• 20 percent - Percentage of all women age 15 to 44 who have had two children. About 47 percent had no children, 17 percent had one, 10 percent had three and about 5 percent had four or more.
• 89.7 percent - Percentage of all children who lived with their biological mothers in 2012. About 1.2 percent of all children lived with a stepmother.
• 3.954 million - Number of births registered in the United States in 2011. Of this number, 329,797 were to teens 15 to 19 and 7,651 to women age 45 to 49.
• 25.4 - Average age of women in 2010 when they gave birth for the first time, up from 25.2 years in 2009. The increase in the mean age from 2009 to 2010 reflects, in part, the relatively large decline in births to women under age 25.
• 29.2 percent - The percentage of mothers who had given birth in the past 12 months who had a bachelor’s degree or higher and 84 percent of mothers have at least a high school diploma.
• Jacob and Sophia - The most popular baby names for boys and girls, respectively, in 2011.
• 68 - Number of births in the past year per 1,000 women age 15 to 50 with a graduate or professional degree. The number was 57 per 1,000 for women whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree.
• 5 million - Number of stay-at-home moms in 2012 — statistically unchanged from 2009, 2010 and 2011— down from 5.3 million in 2008. In 2012, 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15, not statistically different from the percentage in 2012.
Compared with other moms, stay-at-home moms in 2007 were more likely:
• Younger (44 percent were under age 35, compared with 38 percent of mothers in the labor force).
• Hispanic (27 percent, compared with 16 percent of mothers in the labor force).
• Foreign-born (34 percent, compared with 19 percent of mothers in the labor force).
• Living with a child under age 5 (57 percent, compared with 43 percent of mothers in the labor force).
• Without a high school diploma (19 percent versus 8 percent of mothers in the labor force).
• 827,907 - Number of child care centers across the country in 2010. These included 75,695 child day care services employing 859,416 workers and another 752,212 self-employed people or other businesses without paid employees. Many mothers turn to these centers to help juggle motherhood and careers.
• 62.1 percent - Percentage of women age 16 to 50 who had a birth in the past 12 months who were in the labor force.
• 10.3 million - The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2012, up from 3.4 million in 1970.
• 5.9 million - Number of custodial mothers who were owed child support in 2009.
• 36 percent - Percentage of births in the past 12 months that were to women age 15 to 50 who were unmarried (including divorced, widowed and never married women).
In 2011, 407,873 mothers who had a birth in the past 12 months were living with a cohabiting partner.
• 16,182 - Number of florist establishments nationwide in 2010. The 70,575 employees in floral shops across our nation will be especially busy preparing, selling and delivering floral arrangements for Mother’s Day.
• 10,258 - Number of employees of the 103 greeting-card publishing establishments in 2010.
• 14,654 - The number of cosmetics, beauty supplies and perfume stores nationwide in 2010. Perfume is a popular gift given on Mother’s Day.
• 23,739 - Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2010 — the place to purchase necklaces, earrings and other timeless pieces for Mom.