U.S. working mothers have had a hard time in recent years: Between 2007 and 2012, the share of female-headed working families that are low-income increased from 54 percent to 58 percent, according to a Population Reference Bureau (PRB) analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Out of almost 11 million low-income working families in 2012, more than 4 million were headed by working mothers, reports State Policy and Low-Income Working Mothers: Investing for a Better Economic Future, issued by the Working Poor Families Project, with support from the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce, and Kresge foundations (see figure).