Census Bureau Facts for Features
A product of the U.S. Census Bureau's Public Information Office
CB98-FF.07 June 15, 1998
Father's Day 1998: June 21
- The number of single fathers in the United States has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years: there were 2.0 million in 1997, 50 percent more than in 1990 and triple the number in 1980. Consequently, these families comprised 5 percent of all parent-child families in 1997, up from 2 percent in 1980. More traditional family situations, in which the child lives with two parents, numbered 25.6 million in 1997.
- Most of the nation's single fathers (84 percent) maintained their own household in 1997. The remainder lived in the home of a relative (12 percent) or a nonrelative (4 percent).
- In 1997, nearly half of single fathers (46 percent) were divorced, while 32 percent never married, 13 percent were separated and about 5 percent each were widowed and separated due to reasons other than martial discord.
- The majority of single fathers (61 percent) were raising one child in 1997; 10 percent were raising three or more.
- In 1997, about three-quarters of the nation's single fathers (76 percent) were White, another 19 percent were African American; and 13 percent were Hispanics, who may be of any race.
Single-Father Versus Two-Parent Families
- Following are some social and economic indicators for children living with a single father and those living with two parents. The data are for 1996 unless otherwise indicated:
Children living with their father only:
There were 2.8 million such children, nearly triple the number in 1980.
1995 median family income was $26,621.
Twenty-two percent were poor.
For 76 percent, their fathers had high school diplomas; for 12 percent, their dads had a bachelor's degree or higher.
About 5 in 10 lived in rental housing.
About 6 in 10 had other adults in their household besides their father.
Children living with both parents:
There were 48.2 million such children, not statistically different from the 1980 number.
1995 median family income was $48,426.
Ten percent were poor.
For 86 percent, at least one parent had a high school diploma; 28 percent had at least one parent with a bachelor's degree or higher.
Fewer than 3 in 10 lived in rental housing.
Fewer than 2 in 10 had other adults in their household besides their parents.
Fathers as Child-Care Providers
- In fall 1993, there were 6.3 million married-couple families with preschoolers where the mother worked. Among these families, 25 percent of the fathers cared for the children during the mother's working hours. About 1 in 5 fathers in these married-couple families cared for their preschoolers during more of the mothers' working hours than any other care provider. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/cb97-165.html
- In fall 1993, fathers in married-couple families were more likely to care for their preschoolers while the mother worked if they were not employed, had a part-time job or worked evening shifts than if they were employed, had a full-time job or worked a day shift.
The data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Previous Facts for Features in 1998 were: African American History Month (February), Valentine's Day (February 14), Women's History Month (March), Secretaries' Day (April 22), Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month (May) and Mother's Day (May 10). Questions or comments on this product should be directed to the Census Bureau's Public Information Office (Tel: 301-457-3030; fax: 301-457-3670; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).