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Wives earning more than their husbands, 1987-2006

January 09, 2009

In 1987, 18 percent of working wives whose husbands also worked earned more than their spouses; in 2006, the proportion was 26 percent.

Percent of wives who earn more than their husbands (families where both have earnings), 1987-2006
[Chart data—TXT]

Among all married-couple families in which the wife (but not necessarily the husband) had earnings from work in 2006, 33 percent of the wives earned more than their husbands. This is about a third higher than the 1987 figure of 24 percent.

These data on earnings are from the Current Population Survey. For more information see "Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2008 Edition)," BLS Report 1011.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Wives earning more than their husbands, 1987-2006 on the Internet at (visited October 06, 2015).


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