Of the women that participated in the survey, 66% were either currently or formerly married.
Figure 5 shows that younger couples are more likely than those 55 and older to share decision making responsibility about household purchases for daily needs. As age increases, women take on more independent authority in this realm.
- Three-fifths of married women 55 and older have the final say over household purchases, compared to half of married women aged 35 to 54, and 38% of married women 18 to 34.
- Twice as many married women aged 18-34 (16%) as married women 55 and older (8%) reported that their husbands make final decisions over household purchases.
- Almost twice as many married women 18-34 as married women 55 and older report making decisions over household purchases jointly with their husbands (24% and 44% respectively).
Figure 6 examines how many currently or formerly married women make decisions about daily household purchases, by whether or not they work for pay.
- Married women who worked for pay were significantly more likely to have autonomous decision-making power over household purchases than married women who did not work (55% and 48% respectively).
- In households where married women did not work, 12% of husbands had final say over household purchases, while only 7% of husbands had final say when their wives were working.
- Joint decision making about household purchases for daily needs is equally common among households in which women work and among those in which the women do not work.
Figure 7 examines how many married women make decisions about large household purchases.
The frequency of married women making sole decisions on large household purchases increases with age. The frequency of husbands making sole decisions about large household purchases follows the reverse trend and decreases by each group.
- More than three times as many married women 55 and older (33%), as married women 18-34 (10%), make sole decisions about large household purchases.
- Among married women 55 and older, half as many report that their husbands are the sole decision makers about large household purchases as among married women aged 18 to 22 (11% and 22%, respectively). In households of married women ages 18-34 and 35-54, the majority of women share decision-making of large household items with their husbands (64%), compared to 48% of married women, 55 and older.
Figure 8 looks at how many women have final say over important family decisions, such as buying a house.
- Very few married women aged 18-34 have autonomous decision-making ability about such decisions (5%), although more than five times as many married women 55 and older, do.
- Among married women aged 18-34, one quarter report that their husbands have sole decision-making authority over family decisions such as buying a house, five times as many as report that the women themselves have such authority.
- Regardless of age group, in the majority of households, married women and husbands share important family decisions, such as buying a house (18-24, 67%; 35-54, 68%; 55+, 53%).