Americans see men as the financial providers, even as women’s contributions grow

Source: Pew Research Center

In about a third of married or cohabiting couples in the United States, women bring in half or more of the earnings, a significant increase from the past. But in most couples, men contribute more of the income, and this aligns with the fact that Americans place a higher value on a man’s role as financial provider.

Roughly seven-in-ten adults (71%) say it is very important for a man to be able to support a family financially to be a good husband or partner. By comparison, 32% say it’s very important for a woman to do the same to be a good wife or partner, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Men are especially likely to place a greater emphasis on their role as financial providers. While a nearly equal share of men and women say a man needs to be able to provide for his family to be a good husband or partner (72% and 71%, respectively), men are less likely than women to say the same about women. Just a quarter of men say this is very important for a woman to be a good wife or partner, compared with 39% of women.

 

However, the importance of being the financial provider ranks behind being caring and compassionate when it comes to being a good spouse or partner, in the public’s estimation. Overwhelming majorities say it is very important for men (86%) and women (90%) to have these qualities to be good spouses or partners.

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