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Dakotas, region lead nation in percentage of working mothers

In the midst of the Dust Bowl in South Dakota, few mothers worked.

Today, just after the "Great Recession," South Dakota leads the nation in the percentage of working moms. released a report last month on working mother rates from 1930 to 2010 based on 150 years worth of Census Bureau data. The genealogy website found that South Dakota had the lowest percentage of working mothers in the nation in 1930 at 7 percent. In 2010, South Dakota lead the nation at nearly 80 percent of all mothers working.

Nationwide, the rate was 69 percent.

Going farther back in time, according to's analysis of census data, only 3 percent of South Dakota mothers worked outside the home in 1880. Starting in 1940 just prior to World War II, where the percentage was 8 percent, the rates begin to climb quickly — 1950, 19 percent; 1960, 30 percent; 1980, 53 percent; 1990, 74 percent and 2000, 78 percent.

South Dakota overtook the national percentage in the 1980 and has been the highest or one of the highest percentage states since.