Fatherlessness is the #1 social problem of our time because it is the root cause of at least 20 other social problems.
An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent their biological father.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, “Living Arrangements of Children under 18 Years/1 and Marital Status of Parents by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin/2 and Selected Characteristics of the Child for all Children 2010.” Table C3. Internet Release Date November, 2010.
– Father involvement makes a difference in kids’ emotional lives. From a study based on 17,000 children born in the United Kingdom in 1958 who were followed up with at ages 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33:
Children with involved fathers have less emotional and behavioral difficulties in adolescence
Teenagers who feel close to their fathers in adolescence go on to have more satisfactory adult marital relationships.
Girls who have a strong relationship with their fathers during adolescence showed a lack of psychological distress in adult life. Source: Dr. Eirini Flouri & Ann Buchanan, “Involved Fathers Key for Children,” Economic & Social Research Council, March 2002.
The USA leads the industrialized world in fatherlessness.
Right now, around 41 percent of children are born to single mothers.
Total dads – 70,100,000 1
Married dads with children under 18 – 24,400,0002
Stay-at-home dads – 89,000 4
Sources: 1 – U.S. Census Bureau estimates based on unpublished data from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (2008 is the most recent year for which data are available.) 2 – U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, America’s Families and Living Arrangements, Tables FG1 and FG3,http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html 3 – U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, America’s Families and Living Arrangements, Table FG6,http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html 4 – U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, America’s Families and Living Arrangements, Tables FG8 and C3http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html
– Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; ASEP Issue Brief: Information on Poverty and Income Statistics. September 12, 2012 http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml
Poverty– Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
Fathering in America (May, 2009) – PDF
Most research focuses on two major causes for the growth in fatherlessness since the early 1960’s: divorce and out-of-wedlock births.
– Compare the number of divorced adults:
2008 was 8,444,000 vs. 393,000 in 1960
Source: US National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics of the United States, and National Vital Statistics Report, Table 78.