There's no denying that traditional gender roles have changed significantly over the past few decades. More and more women are joining the workforce, and it's not all that uncommon to see men staying home to take care of the family. But what about in Idaho? Are these trends mirrored in the Gem State?

Women vs men in the workforce

Let's start with a look at the overall numbers. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016, 61.9% of Idahoans aged 16 and over were employed. Of those employed, 51.4% were women and 48.6% were men. So it looks like women are slightly outnumbered in the workforce here in Idaho.

Full-time vs part-time

But what about when we look at who is working full-time? In 2016, 54.4% of employed Idahoans worked full-time. Of those, 50.7% were women and 49.3% were men. So it appears that men and women are pretty evenly split when it comes to full-time work.

But what about when it comes to who is the breadwinner in households?

In 2016, 46.7% of Idaho households were dual-income households, meaning that both the husband and wife were working. In these households, the wife was the primary breadwinner in 29.4% of cases, while the husband was the primary breadwinner in 70.6% of cases.

It looks like in most dual-income households in Idaho, the husband is the primary breadwinner. But it's worth noting that the percentage of households where the wife is the primary breadwinner has been slowly but steadily rising over the past few years.

Alexander Drummer / Unsplash
Alexander Drummer / Unsplash

Single-parent households are mostly headed by women

It's also worth noting that the number of single-parent households has been on the rise in Idaho in recent years. In 2016, 13.5% of households in Idaho were headed by a single parent. Of those, 92.1% were headed by a single mother and 7.9% were headed by a single father.

More men are staying to raise the kids

What about stay-at-home parents? In 2016, 8.7% of families with children under the age of 18 had a stay-at-home parent. Of those, 61.1% were mothers and 38.9% were fathers. So it looks like more mothers than fathers are staying home to care for their children in Idaho, but fathers are certainly not unheard of in this role and the number is slowly growing.

Juliane Lieberman - Unsplash
Juliane Lieberman - Unsplash

Summing it all up

What does all this data tell us? It paints a picture of a state that is pretty evenly divided when it comes to employment. In most dual-income households, the man is the breadwinner, but the needle has been moving in the other direction and more fathers are staying home to raise the kids while the wife brings home the bacon is slowly on the rise. It's still more likely that both parents are employed and that number isn't likely to drop in the face of rising costs and inflation.

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