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.
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 http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/jan/wk1/art05.htm (visited November 24, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.