Fatherhood CoMission Facts on Fathers and Families

Research by Bettina Holmes and Jeffrey Shears (2023)

  • The number of fathers in the United States is estimated to be 72 million, which is approximately 55% of men aged 16 and over. This includes men with at least one biological child of any age.

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2022, June 19). Father’s Day: June 19, 2022. Press Release Number CB22-SFS.91 [Infographic].

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/fathers-day.html

United States Census Bureau. (2021). American Community Survey S0101: Age and sex [Data set]. https://data.census.gov/table?t=Age+and+Sex&tid=ACSST1Y2021.S0101

 

  • The total number of families with children under 18 is about 37 million. This includes married couples, unmarried couples, and single parents.
    • 5 million of these families identify as White
    • 4 million as Black
    • 2 million as Hispanic
    • 1 million are two parent families
    • 7 million are single mother families
    • 2 million are single father families. Of the single father families with minor children
      • 5% identify as White
      • 19% identify as Black
      • 21% identify as Hispanic

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2022, June 19). FM2: All parent/child situations, by type, race, and hispanic origin of the householder or reference person: 1970 to present [Data set].

https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/demo/tables/families/time-series/families/fm2.xls

 

  • In the United States, 28% of adult men have biological children under 18 years old.

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2019, June 14). A snapshot of fatherhood [Interactive infographic]. https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/fatherhood-snapshot.html

 

  • There are over 73 million children under 18 in the United States, making up approximately 22% of the population.

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2021). American Community Survey S0101: Age and sex [Data set]. https://data.census.gov/table?t=Age+and+Sex&tid=ACSST1Y2021.S0101

 

  • The 73 million children in the United States are:
    • 53% White
    • 13% Black
    • 5% Asian
    • 19% Mixed Race
    • 26% Hispanic or Latino

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2021). American Community Survey S0901: Children characteristics [Data set]. https://data.census.gov/table?q=s0901

 

  • There are 5.97 million children living in single father households, making up 8% of households with minor children. These children are
    • 48% White
    • 14% Black
    • 3% Asian
    • 21% Mixed Race
    • 33% Hispanic or Latino

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2021). American Community Survey S0901: Children characteristics [Data set]. https://data.census.gov/table?q=s0901

 

  • There are 48.9 million children under 18 living in a household with a married couple (does not include unmarried partners), making up 67% of children.

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2021). American Community Survey S0901: Children characteristics [Data set]. https://data.census.gov/table?q=s0901

 

  • About 3% of Black men ages 15-19 are fathers, compared to about 1% each of White, Asian, and Hispanic men. At ages 20-29, 29.4% of Hispanic men, 24.9% of Black men, 21.2% of White men, and 12.4% of Asian men are fathers. Asian men delay fatherhood the longest, and they have the largest percentage increase in fatherhood from their 30s to their 40s.

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2019, June 13). Census bureau releases first ever report on men’s fertility [Press release]. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2019/mens-fertility.html

 

  • Children with involved fathers are at lower risk of poor outcomes including infant mortality, emotional and behavioral problems, poor school performance, alcohol and substance abuse, and criminal activity.

Source: National Fatherhood Initiative. (2019). The strengths of father presence [Infographic]. https://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistic

 

  • When a child is raised in a father-absent home, they are more likely to live in poverty, face abuse and neglect, drop out of school, become pregnant as a teen, abuse drugs and alcohol, suffer from obesity, commit a crime, and go to prison.

Source: National Fatherhood Initiative. (2019). The father absence crisis in America [Infographic]. https://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistic

 

  • Approximately 70% of men took leave within 12 weeks of the birth of their first child between 2016-2020 which is a 20% increase from 1981-1985. It is estimated that 204,000 men were stay-at-home dads in 2021.

Source: United States Census Bureau. (2022, June 19). Father’s Day: June 19, 2022. Press Release Number CB22-SFS.91 [Infographic]. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/fathers-day.html

 

  • Fathers in the United States have increased their time spent on childcare since 1965, and 57% of fathers consider parenthood extremely important to their identity.

Source: Livingston, G., & Parker, K. (2019, June 12). 8 facts about American dads. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/12/fathers-day-facts/