And of that number, 2/3 are still in households earning 100k/yr or more. Those numbers have been pretty stable over the last decade. The percentage has gone up because there’s been a further decline in married parents while the total number of SAHMs was essentially unchanged from the earlier data.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement
Things have changed a bit for 2017, mostly because a bunch of kids aged out and there’s way fewer married households with under-18 kids around.
Less than 9% of all households making under 50k/yr are married with under-18 kids.
About 20% of all households making 50-99k/yr are married with under-18 kids.
About 30% of all households making 100-149k/yr are married with under-18 kids.
About 35% of all households making 150k/yr or more are married with under-18 kids.
Lost percentage at the very bottom and the tippy top.
Source: 2017 ACS data on household income in the past 12 months.
Apparently the answer is “20k more than the woman you plan to wife up”.
The gap between married women and married men’s average earnings is about 20k regardless of actual earnings until men are in their 30s, when married men’s average goes up into 40k more than the married women average through their 30s.
So guys who are married in their early 20s average 30k, but girls married in their early 20s average 10k. Mid20s, 50k/30k, respectively. Mid30s, 70k/50k.
Another way to look at it is that single men never boost their earnings out of the range they share with married women (for both single men and married women, average income peaks around 50k/yr through 30s and 40s). Men who want to marry all start out higher earning, even among men who marry by 20.
So the single guys who remain at each stage of average income are the ones who just aren’t making the financial leaps upward. Single women have it even worse, they don’t hit that 50k peak until their 50s, and are down in the 40k range through most of their working years, below married women and single men.
One interesting set of interpretations is that married women on average expect married men to be the ones to take income over benefits and generous leave while they expect to not have to choose and thus don’t. And men who want to marry won’t if they aren’t pretty confident they can decisively earn 60% or more of the household income.
Data reference is from here, covering people who were born in the 1990s as the youngest end of the spectrum.