Mother’s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. Find out how it became so important to us and discover how we spend it for the moms we love.
Our guide to Mother’s Day facts and statistics will pique your interest in traditions in the U.S. and globally.
We’ll help you understand what makes Mother’s Day so special and share fun trivia about motherhood in general. You’ll be able to host your own quiz show on the topic and perhaps win the favorite child award – even if only for the day!
Top 10 Mother’s Day Facts and Statistics
These random facts are some of the most interesting bits of Mother’s Day trivia on our list.
- Mother’s Day doesn’t fall on the same day each year. In the U.S., Australia, and Hong Kong, Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday of May.
- Two billion dollars goes to personal services for moms, including visits to the hair salon and spa treatments.
- Ancient Greeks held religious festivals in honor of Rhea, the goddess of fertility known as “the mother of the gods”.
- The first American Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1908.
- A 2017 poll reveals that just 4% of mothers wanted to be served breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day.
- American moms received an average of 45 pieces of homemade art as gifts from their kids in 2021.
- In 2022, the average age of American women giving birth rose to 30 years old.
- It’s incredible to know that people make a total of about 122 million phone calls on Mother’s Day. It’s the busiest day of the year for calling moms!
- Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914 to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.
- In 2017, 24% of American mothers were raising kids without a spouse or partner.
25 Fun Facts About Mother’s Day
These facts and statistics include entertaining Mother’s Day trivia to expand your horizons on one of the biggest annual holidays.
1. History of Mother’s Day
The earliest celebrations of motherhood go back in history to ancient Egypt, with a yearly festival held for Isis. She was the Egyptian goddess of fertility and was often depicted breastfeeding a baby (1).
2. Day and Date
Mother’s Day doesn’t fall on the same day each year. In the U.S., Australia, and Hong Kong, Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday of May. In Britain and Ireland, Mother’s Day coincides with Mothering Sunday. It takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, about three weeks before Easter.
3. Not Just Moms
Americans purchased 113 million Mother’s Day cards in 2022. The average U.S. consumer buys 2.8 Mother’s Day cards, so it’s not just about moms (2). People buy cards for their wives, aunts, and grandmothers, even though Grandparent’s Day is on September 10 (3). “Gorgeous Grandma Day” also occurs on July 23 (4).
4. A Day of Beauty
Nearly $32 billion was spent on Mother’s Day gifts in 2022. Two billion dollars goes to personal services for moms, including visits to the hair salon and spa treatments. It’s the perfect holiday to pamper hardworking moms with relaxing massages, manicure-pedicures, and full-body treatments.
Pop Quiz: What is the average age of a first-time mother in the U.S.? In 2017, it was 26.8 (5). In 2022,the average age of American women giving birth rose to 30, the highest it’s ever been.
6. Ancient Festivals Celebrating Mothers
The ancient Greeks held religious festivals in honor of Rhea, the goddess of fertility known as “the mother of the gods.” Ancient Romans had Hilaria, a springtime festival dedicated to Cybele, another mother goddess. This festival included a parade and masquerade procession.
7. Call Your Mother
About 122 million calls are made on Mother’s Day every year. More calls occur on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the calendar year. During the pandemic in 2020, 1.75 billion minutes of phone calls and 6 billion texts were recorded. It proves that the funny old adage “call your mother” really bears weight.
8. A Lot of Moms
A total of 2.2 billion mothers exist worldwide, with about 85 million moms calling the U.S. home (6). Eighty-six percent of American women between 40 and 44 were mothers in 2018, with an average of 2.07 children each (7).
9. Mother’s Day Inspiration
American activist Ann Jarvis tried her best to connect Confederate and Union mothers during the Civil War. In 1868, she started a committee responsible for the first “Mother’s Friendship Day,” offering an interesting start to Mother’s Day (8).
10. First Mother’s Day
Ann Jarvis’ daughter, Anna Reeves Jarvis, continued her mother’s work with the first unofficial Mother’s Day celebrated on May 10, 1908. It consisted of a church service at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in West Virginia, although it was not yet celebrated nationally.
11. All That Glitters
Forty-one percent of U.S. residents bought jewelry for their mom for Mother’s Day in 2022, up six percent from 2021 (9). Forty-seven percent of men buy jewelry as a gift on Mother’s Day, with sales expected to hit 7 billion dollars (10). That’s a lot of gold, silver, and rhinestone pendants that read “mom.”
12. Cards vs. Flowers
After Christmas and Hanukkah, more people buy flowers and plants for their moms on Mother’s Day than on any other holiday. One-quarter of all the flowers purchased throughout the year are bought for Mother’s Day (11).
13. Mothers Protest
Another revolutionary influence on Mother’s Day in the U.S. is author Julia Ward Howe. She wrote the famous “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and is the founder of the 1870 pacifist Mother’s Day Proclamation. It was an appeal to women in protest of the American Civil War (12).
14. The First Carnation
Carnations originally appeared on Mother’s Day for very different reasons than they do today. A red carnation was worn if your mother was alive, and a white carnation if she had passed away (13). Carnations last about three weeks, which is much longer than typical bouquets, so moms can enjoy them for longer.
15. An Official Holiday
Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914 to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May. On May 11, 1913, Congressmen wore white carnations to honor American mothers. They voted on House Resolution 103, which led to the first observance of Mother’s Day.
16. Origin of Mom
Mother’s Day facts and statistics tell us the word “Mom” first appeared in the 1800s as a nickname for “Mamma (14)” All the things we call our mothers—mom, ma, mommy—likely stem out of our first words. Babies’ first word was “mama” in 12 of 33 countries in 2021 (15).
17. Dining Out
In 2018, approximately 87 million adults went to restaurants to eat, with 34% of U.S. adults planning a meal out for Mother’s Day (16). Forty-seven percent took moms out for dinner, while 45% went for lunch, 25% for brunch, and 10% for breakfast (17). During the pandemic in 2020, restaurant spending rose 103% on Mother’s Day (18).
18. Church Bound
Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, which is a traditional church-going day for many. In the U.S. in 2012, Mother’s Day was the third-ranked holiday for church attendance, behind Easter and Christmas, respectively (19).
19. Breakfast Not in Bed
A 2017 poll reveals that just 4% of mothers wanted to be served breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. Nothing scientific about it; only 40 of 1,000 moms want this treat. Although a sweet gesture from children, perhaps mom ends up with most of the clean-up anyway. Take her out to brunch instead!
20. Motherhood Wins Out
In 2021, an average of $219 per person was spent on Mother’s Day. Only $190 on average was spent for Father’s Day (20). Sometimes, dads get lost in the fever known as Mother’s Day.
21. Highest-Paying Job
Salon.com claimed that the salary for stay-at-home moms might equal $162,581 per year (21). After all, she’s a housekeeper, nanny, personal chef, assistant, party planner, and much more at the end of the day.
22. Single Moms
In 2017, 24% of American mothers were raising kids without a spouse or partner. Roughly one in four moms do the job alone and are even more deserving of a terrific Mother’s Day.
23. Always a Mom
Fifty-eight percent of U.S. moms surveyed in 2015 claim that their role as a mother is “extremely important” to them, contributing to their identity as a person. Sixty percent of millennials and 58% of Gen X moms felt this way, while 51% of baby boomers with kids under 18 did (22).
24. Family Photo
A 2021 Canvaspop survey stated that American moms receive 45 pieces of homemade art as Mother’s Day gifts from their kids. They include drawings, traditional paintings, and also finger paintings. But what moms really want are updated family photos; they’re in less than half of the family pictures displayed in their homes.
25. Flower Shop Stats
Twenty-six percent of all holiday purchases at florists occur for Mother’s Day. It’s the third most popular holiday for giving flowers in the U.S., after Valentine’s Day and Christmas (23). Mother’s Day is a terrific opportunity to put together a colorful bouquet to uplift her spirits.
Mother’s Day in the U.S. vs. Worldwide
Discover how Mother’s Day is celebrated both in the U.S. and around the world.
- Mom Coupons: American moms with young kids often receive a group or book of coupons, either handmade or pre-made. It’s a day when families and children can do chores for their mom and give her a much-needed day off. Making a DIY coupon book is a fun project for kids to do for their moms.
- Spa Day: Spa treatments are growing in popularity when it comes to pampering a mom in need. Some adult children simply take their mom to the salon or spa for a day of beauty. Others send them vouchers for a relaxing massage or treatment or an amazing full-on spa weekend getaway.
- Mexican Moms: In Mexico, Mother’s Day is on May 10, no matter what day of the week it falls on. It typically includes a visit to church and a traditional morning performance of the song “Las Mananitas” by mariachi singers (24).
- Family Dinner: A Mother’s Day family meal in Mexico is full of delicious food for families to share. Classics like mole, pozole, enchiladas, sopes, and quesadillas satisfy Mexican moms. Gifts of flowers, candy, and greeting cards are still popular. Specifically, special floral arrangements are something moms expect (25).
- Mothering Sunday: The United Kingdom has Mothering Sunday, which began in the 16th century and is on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It began as a medieval way to honor ‘mother churches,’ the church where one was first baptized and became a ‘child of the church.’ On Mothering Sunday, Christians would visit this church. It’s been replaced with a just-as-important visit to a mom’s home (26).
- Polish Traditions: Mother’s Day is called Dzień Matki in Poland and falls on May 26th each year. Making gifts and cards is a big part of the Polish Mother’s Day tradition. Children create handmade cards decorated with paper flowers called laurki, which are often made at school (27).
- A Medal for Mom: In 1920s France, mothers with large families were awarded medals. These were given in thanks for their help in rebuilding the population after World War I. Today, French moms expect to receive a flower-shaped cake for Mother’s Day (28).
- Set Her Free: In the former Yugoslavia, children would get to tie up their mothers for Mother’s Day. She would only be set free if she agreed to “pay” her children with candy and treats. It’s a good deal for the kids (29)!
- Mother Icons: Spain and Portugal celebrate Mother’s Day on December 8 by honoring both the Virgin Mary and their own mothers (30).
- Japanese Celebrations: Japan’s modern equivalent of Mother’s Day began in 1931. It used to be celebrated on Empress Kōjun’s birthday, March 6, but is now the second Sunday in May. Mother’s Day in Japan is called Haha no Hi (31).