Female breadwinners on the rise

27 October 2015

According to an article in The Conversation steadily increasing numbers of women in Europe are the main breadwinner in their household. Agnese Vitali, a lecturer in Social Statistics and Demography at the University of Southampton writes that in 2010, about 30% of women in married or cohabiting couples in the United Kingdom earned more than half of their household income, up from 10% in 1980. Figures in other European countries, particularly Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia, are even higher. Female breadwinners are not only single career women and married women without children, but also single parents and increasing numbers of women with children. Vitali states that there are two distinct drivers of the increase in female breadwinning: the first being the career ambitions of highly-educated women and the second being driven by the economic necessity of rising men’s unemployment and underemployment in the wake of the global financial crisis.