- The holiday is over a century old.
- 57 percent of U.S. mothers with infants work for pay.
- There are about 83 million American mothers.
Read on for more interesting and surprising Mother's Day trivia.
Origins of Mother's Day
Mother's Day began on May 10, 1908, when Anna Jarvis organized celebrations in Philadelphia and Grafton, W.Va.
As support for a national holiday grew, Jarvis lobbied Congress to designate a day in honor of mothers. In 1914, Congress set aside the second Sunday in May for Mother's Day.
Mothers and Children
Approximately 82.8 million U.S. women were mothers in 2004. Of the 15 to 44 year age group, 55 percent were mothers in 2006, according to government statistics. 80 percent of women aged 40 to 44 were mothers that year, compared with 90 percent of that age group in 1976.
The U.S. saw 2.1 births per woman in 2006, the first time since 1971 that the fertility rate was high enough for the adult generation to replace itself. Utah enjoyed the highest fertility rate, 2.6, whereas Vermont, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia had only 1.7 births per woman.
Of the 37.8 million mothers living with minor children, 94 percent lived only with biological children in 2004. There were 3 percent living with stepchildren, 2 percent with adopted children and less than 1 percent with foster children.
9.8 million single moms were living with minor children in 2008, up from 3.4 million in 1970. 36 percent of women aged 15 to 50 who gave birth in 2006 were unmarried.
New Moms and Babies
There were 4.3 million births in the U.S. in 2006. The average age to become a mothers was 25 in 2005, the first decline since the government started measuring the statistic in 1968.
Of those births, 18,674 were the mother's eighth baby or more. 38,568 of the deliveries didn't occur in hospitals.
Twins were born 32.1 times per 1,000 births. Other multiples were born 153.3 times per 100,000 births in 2006.
August saw the most new babies, with 387,798 births. Wednesday was the most common day to give birth, with an average of 13,482 deliveries.
The most popular baby names were Jacob and Emily, in 2007.
Working Mothers and Stay-at-Home Moms
57 percent of 15-to-50 year old mothers of infants worked outside the home in 2006. There were 5.3 million stay-at-home moms and 140,000 stay-at-home dads in 2008.
Looking at maternity leave, 80 percent of first-time moms worked until one month or less of giving birth, compared with 35 percent in the early 1960s.
Of moms who went back to work within a year of giving birth, 83 percent returned to the same employer. But beware the mommy track -- only seven in 10 of these women resumed working at the same skill level, pay and hours per week.
True Mother's Day Trivia
Of all the children younger than 6 in the U.S., 58 percent ate breakfast and 80 percent ate dinner with their mother every day in 2006. That compares with 53 percent and 71 percent for meals with dad.
To honor Mother's Day, you may purchase flowers at one of the 20,227 floral shops, perfume at one of the 12,765 beauty stores or a necklace at one of the 28,300 jewelry retailers in the U.S.
You can also pick up a Mother's Day card from one of the 132 greeting card publishers who employed 12,765 people in 2006.
Source: the Census Bureau
For more fun facts about the holidays, see the About Working Moms calendar of holiday facts.