Mother’s Day by the Numbers

Mother’s Day always falls on the second Sunday in May, so mark your calendar – it’s coming up!

1914: the year Mother’s Day was officially declared a national holiday in the United States, by then-president Woodrow Wilson. Widespread acknowledgement of the day began six years earlier, however, 1908. The woman who started it, Anna Jarvis, initially had the idea in 1868, but it never became an American national holiday in her lifetime.

America isn’t the only country that celebrates it yearly, however – about fifty countries around the world set aside a special day for their moms. India takes it the farthest, however, by stretching it out over a full ten days in October. In Bolivia, they set the date of Mother’s Day to commemorate the day women entered a famous battle.

The oldest woman to have been verified to give birth was sixty-five years old, after having been childless throughout her fifty year-long marriage. The woman known to have given birth to the most children had sixteen sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets – that’s a total of sixty-nine, in case you’re rusty on your math.

There are about 4.1 million new mothers in America this year. Five million of all American mothers stay at home with the kids, while many others utilize some of the 827,000 daycares in the country. We can’t overlook stepmoms, either – 1.2% of kids live with theirs.

How do people acknowledge their mothers (and their mother figures) on their special day? For starters, they make a simple phone call: more than one hundred twenty-two million calls are made on Mother’s Day in the United States alone! One quarter of the annual flower sales are made on or around the second Sunday in May; gifts of flowers account for just some of the $14 billion spent on gifts for mom every year. Card sales make up $671 million of those gift sales.

Whether with flowers, cards, or even simple quality time spent together, make some time to acknowledge the mother or mother figure in your life!


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