Single Fatherhood Statistics You Should Know [2022 Data]

Let’s look at the current single fatherhood statistics in the US to understand increasing trends, difficulties, and what this set-up does to their children.

Single fathers face several adversities as they struggle to balance work and parenting. Yet, despite the inherent difficulty of this family structure, the rate of single fatherhood in the U.S. has been increasing for decades.

To understand the trend, we have to understand the data. The following statistics will cover the number of single fathers in the U.S., their demographic breakdown, their children, and how they compare to single mothers.

These data points highlight interesting trends in single-father families:

  • Alaska has the highest rate of single fathers in the U.S. (2% of all households in the state).
  • In 1960, only 724,000 children were living with a single father. By 2021, this number had increased to 3,565,000 children.
  • Single fathers with no partner have a higher median income ($50,237) than single fathers who are cohabiting. 
  • Of all family households in the U.S., 3.17% are single-father families. 
  • Only 10.33% of single-parent families were run by single fathers in 1970. By 2021, this had nearly doubled to 20.43%.
  • 57.71% of single fathers do not have a partner. 
  • 64.93% of single fathers in the U.S. are White/Caucasian.

Increasing Rates of Single Fatherhood in the U.S.

As the marriage rate declines and the divorce rate increases, the number of single fathers in the U.S. is rising. 

These numbers illustrate the increase in single fatherhood in the U.S. over the past several decades:

  • 3.17% of all family households are single-father families. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a)1
  • The number of single-father families has been steadily increasing since 1950. Here are the numbers per year from 1950 to 2021: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • 3.17% of all family households are single-father families. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a)1
  • The number of single-father families has been steadily increasing since 1950. Here are the numbers per year from 1950 to 2021: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • 1950 – 229,000 single-father families
    • 1951 – 231,000 single-father families
    • 1952 – 233,000 single-father families
    • 1953 – 277,000 single-father families
    • 1954 – 283,000 single-father families
    • 1955 – 256,000 single-father families
    • 1956 – 298,000 single-father families
    • 1957 – 265,000 single-father families
    • 1958 – 293,000 single-father families
    • 1959 – 232,000 single-father families
    • 1960 – 232,000 single-father families
    • 1961 – 190,000 single-father families
    • 1962 – 254,000 single-father families
    • 1963 – 361,000 single-father families
    • 1964 – 268,000 single-father families
    • 1965 – 249,000 single-father families
    • 1966 – 278,000 single-father families
    • 1967 – 331,000 single-father families
    • 1968 – 297,000 single-father families
    • 1969 – 323,000 single-father families
    • 1970 – 345,000 single-father families
    • 1971 – 331,000 single-father families
    • 1972 – 365,000 single-father families
    • 1973 – 386,000 single-father families
    • 1974 – 391,000 single-father families
    • 1975 – 484,000 single-father families
    • 1976 – 446,000 single-father families
    • 1977 – 486,000 single-father families
    • 1978 – 539,000 single-father families
    • 1979 – 569,000 single-father families
    • 1980 – 616,000 single-father families
    • 1981 – 666,000 single-father families
    • 1982 – 679,000 single-father families
    • 1983 – 737,000 single-father families
    • 1984 – 799,000 single-father families
    • 1985 – 896,000 single-father families
    • 1986 – 935,000 single-father families
    • 1987 – 955,000 single-father families
    • 1988 – 1,047,000 single-father families
    • 1989 – 1,068,000 single-father families
    • 1990 – 1,153,000 single-father families
    • 1991 – 1,181,000 single-father families
    • 1992 – 1,283,000 single-father families
    • 1993 – 1,324,000 single-father families
    • 1994 – 1,314,000 single-father families
    • 1995 – 1,440,000 single-father families
    • 1996 – 1,628,000 single-father families
    • 1997 – 1,709,000 single-father families
    • 1998 – 1,798,000 single-father families
    • 1999 – 1,706,000 single-father families
    • 2000 – 1,786,000 single-father families
    • 2001 – 1,836,000 single-father families
    • 2002 – 1,903,000 single-father families
    • 2003 – 1,915,000 single-father families
    • 2004 – 1,931,000 single-father families
    • 2005 – 2,021,000 single-father families
    • 2006 – 2,095,000 single-father families
    • 2007 – 2,015,000 single-father families
    • 2008 – 2,162,000 single-father families
    • 2009 – 2,111,000 single-father families
    • 2010 – 2,224,000 single-father families
    • 2011 – 2,247,000 single-father families
    • 2012 – 2,415,000 single-father families
    • 2013 – 2,560,000 single-father families
    • 2014 – 2,472,000 single-father families
    • 2015 – 2,388,000 single-father families
    • 2016 – 2,472,000 single-father families
    • 2017 – 2,395,000 single-father families
    • 2018 – 2,484,000 single-father families
    • 2019 – 2,500,000 single-father families
    • 2020 – 2,374,000 single-father families
    • 2021 – 2,661,000 single-father families
  • 2,661,000 single-father families were living alone with a child under 18 in 2021; this is 3.17% of all American family households. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • Single-father families made up 6.11% of all family households with children under 18 in 2021; this is a drastic increase from 1970 when the share of single-father households was only 1.33%. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • In 1970, single-father families made up just 10.33% of all single-parent families with children. By 2021, that number had increased to 20.43%. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2

Single-Father Households by State

As with any trend, single fatherhood varies by state – but only by about one percentage point. So for example, Alaska has the highest rate of single fathers in the U.S., and Massachusetts has the lowest.

These percentages show how single-fatherhood breaks down by state:

  • States ranked from highest to lowest by the percentage of households that are single-father families are as follows:
    • 1. Alaska
      • Single-father households: 5,114 (2% of all households)
    • 2. Oklahoma
      • Single-father households: 24,417 (1.6% of all households)
    • 3. Nevada
      • Single-father households: 17,979 (1.6% of all households)
    • 4. Wyoming
      • Single-father households: 3,725 (1.6% of all households)
    • 5. Arizona
      • Single-father households: 37,798 (1.5% of all households)
    • 6. Wisconsin
      • Single-father households: 34,881 (1.5% of all households)
    • 7. Colorado
      • Single-father households: 32,459 (1.5% of all households)
    • 8. Kansas
      • Single-father households: 16,747 (1.5% of all households)
    • 9. New Mexico
      • Single-father households: 11,816 (1.5% of all households)
    • 10. Montana
      • Single-father households: 6,456 (1.5% of all households)
    • 11. Texas
      • Single-father households: 133,474 (1.4% of all households)
    • 12. Indiana
      • Single-father households: 36,982 (1.4% of all households)
    • 13. Missouri
      • Single-father households: 34,392 (1.4% of all households)
    • 14. Minnesota
      • Single-father households: 30,067 (1.4% of all households)
    • 15. Kentucky
      • Single-father households: 25,147 (1.4% of all households)
    • 16. Iowa
      • Single-father households: 17,973 (1.4% of all households)
    • 17. Arkansas
      • Single-father households: 15,912 (1.4% of all households)
    • 18. Idaho
      • Single-father households: 8,745 (1.4% of all households)
    • 19. South Dakota
      • Single-father households: 4,933 (1.4% of all households)
    • 20. North Dakota
      • Single-father households: 4,436 (1.4% of all households)
    • 21. California
      • Single-father households: 171,733 (1.3% of all households)
    • 22. Ohio
      • Single-father households: 61,019 (1.3% of all households)
    • 23. Michigan
      • Single-father households: 50,800 (1.3% of all households)
    • 24. Washington
      • Single-father households: 36,906 (1.3% of all households)
    • 25. Tennessee
      • Single-father households: 34,768 (1.3% of all households)
    • 26. Maryland
      • Single-father households: 27,843 (1.3% of all households)
    • 27. Louisiana
      • Single-father households: 22,422 (1.3% of all households)
    • 28. Oregon
      • Single-father households: 20,590 (1.3% of all households)
    • 29. Utah
      • Single-father households: 12,977 (1.3% of all households)
    • 30. Nebraska
      • Single-father households: 9,679 (1.3% of all households)
    • 31. West Virginia
      • Single-father households: 9,442 (1.3% of all households)
    • 32. Maine
      • Single-father households: 7,309 (1.3% of all households)
    • 33. Delaware
      • Single-father households: 4,560 (1.3% of all households)
    • 34. Vermont
      • Single-father households: 3,429 (1.3% of all households)
    • 35. Pennsylvania
      • Single-father households: 60,891 (1.2% of all households)
    • 36. North Carolina
      • Single-father households: 47,413 (1.2% of all households)
    • 37. Georgia
      • Single-father households: 46,193 (1.2% of all households)
    • 38. Virginia
      • Single-father households: 38,119 (1.2% of all households)
    • 39. Mississippi
      • Single-father households: 13,481 (1.2% of all households)
    • 40. New Hampshire
      • Single-father households: 6,335 (1.2% of all households)
    • 41. Rhode Island
      • Single-father households: 4,948 (1.2% of all households)
    • 42. Florida
      • Single-father households: 88,278 (1.1% of all households)
    • 43. New York
      • Single-father households: 78,134 (1.1% of all households)
    • 44. Illinois
      • Single-father households: 53,937 (1.1% of all households)
    • 45. Alabama
      • Single-father households: 21,350 (1.1% of all households)
    • 46. South Carolina
      • Single-father households: 20,225 (1.1% of all households)
    • 47. Connecticut
      • Single-father households: 14,865 (1.1% of all households)
    • 48. District of Columbia
      • Single-father households: 3,087 (1.1% of all households)
    • 49. New Jersey
      • Single-father households: 33,288 (1% of all households)
    • 50. Hawaii
      • Single-father households: 4,786 (1% of all households)
    • 51. Massachusetts
      • Single-father households: 24,093 (0.9% of all households)

Single Fathers by Cohabitation Status in the U.S.

While many single parents live with an unmarried partner, many also take on the tasks of parenthood and financial responsibility by themselves. 

These statistics show the cohabitation rates of single fathers:

  • In 2021, 42.29% of single-father households were cohabiting, either with or without a joint biological child. The remaining 57.71% had no partner. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • The numbers of single-father households, with or without a cohabiting partner, are broken down by the age of their children as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • Total, with children of any age:
      • Cohabiting Fathers – 2,807,000 households
      • Single Father with no partner present – 3,830,000 households
    • With children under 25:
      • Cohabiting Fathers – 2,673,000 households
      • Single Father with no partner present – 2,516,000 households
    • With children under 18:
      • Cohabiting Fathers – 2,489,000 households
      • Single Father with no partner present – 1,745,000 households
    • With children under 12:
      • Cohabiting Fathers – 2,177,000 households
      • Single Father with no partner present – 1,003,000 households
    • With children under 6:
      • Cohabiting Fathers – 1,620,000 households
      • Single Father with no partner present – 409,000 households

Single Fathers by Marital Status in the U.S.

The marital statuses of single fathers have been shifting over the past five years, with slightly more of them never having married and slightly less of them being divorced.

Here’s a breakdown of single fathers by marital status:

  • 41.1% of single fathers (925,000) in 2021 were never-married individuals. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • Single fathers by marital status in 2021: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • Never married – 925,000 single fathers (41.1%)
    • Divorced – 852,000 single fathers (37.8%)
    • Separated – 378,000 single fathers (16.8%)
    • Widowed – 97,000 single fathers (4.3%)
  • In 2016, there were about 2 million single fathers in the U.S. About 40% were divorced, 38% were never married, 16% were separated, and 6% were widowed. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016)3

How Many Children Are Living With a Single Father?

Single fathers used to be uncommon in the U.S., but now nearly 5% of American children are living with a single father. 

These statistics show the numbers of children living with single fathers in the U.S.

  • In 2021, there were 3,565,000 children (4.91% of all American children) living with a single father. This is a 392.4% increase from 1960, when only 724,000 children lived with a single father. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021b)4
  • The numbers of children under 18 living with a single father in the U.S., by year, from 1960 to 2021, are as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021b)4
    • 1960
      • 724,000 children living with a single father (1.13% of all children under 18 in 1960)
    • 1968
      • 776,000 children living with a single father (1.09% of all children under 18 in 1968)
    • 1969
      • 765,000 children living with a single father (1.09% of all children under 18 in 1969)
    • 1970
      • 748,000 children living with a single father (1.08% of all children under 18 in 1970)
    • 1971
      • 796,000 children living with a single father (1.09% of all children under 18 in 1971)
    • 1972
      • 764,000 children living with a single father (1.16% of all children under 18 in 1972)
    • 1973
      • 821,000 children living with a single father (1.21% of all children under 18 in 1973)
    • 1974
      • 842,000 children living with a single father (1.26% of all children under 18 in 1974)
    • 1975
      • 1,014,000 children living with a single father (1.53% of all children under 18 in 1975)
    • 1976
      • 811,000 children living with a single father (1.25% of all children under 18 in 1976)
    • 1977
      • 892,000 children living with a single father (1.27% of all children under 18 in 1977)
    • 1978
      • 985,000 children living with a single father (1.56% of all children under 18 in 1978)
    • 1979
      • 997,000 children living with a single father (1.60% of all children under 18 in 1979)
    • 1980
      • 1,060,000 children living with a single father (1.67% of all children under 18 in 1980)
    • 1981
      • 1,203,000 children living with a single father (1.91% of all children under 18 in 1981)
    • 1982
      • 1,189,000 children living with a single father (1.91% of all children under 18 in 1982)
    • 1983
      • 1,267,000 children living with a single father (2.03% of all children under 18 in 1983)
    • 1984
      • 1,378,000 children living with a single father (2.22% of all children under 18 in 1984)
    • 1985
      • 1,554,000 children living with a single father (2.49% of all children under 18 in 1985)
    • 1986
      • 1,579,000 children living with a single father (2.52% of all children under 18 in 1986)
    • 1987
      • 1,651,000 children living with a single father (2.62% of all children under 18 in 1987)
    • 1988
      • 1,808,000 children living with a single father (2.86% of all children under 18 in 1988)
    • 1989
      • 1,793,000 children living with a single father (2.82% of all children under 18 in 1989)
    • 1990
      • 1,993,000 children living with a single father (3.11% of all children under 18 in 1990)
    • 1991
      • 2,016,000 children living with a single father (3.10% of all children under 18 in 1991)
    • 1992
      • 2,182,000 children living with a single father (3.31% of all children under 18 in 1992)
    • 1993
      • 2,286,000 children living with a single father (3.42% of all children under 18 in 1993)
    • 1994
      • 2.257,000 children living with a single father (3.25% of all children under 18 in 1994)
    • 1995
      • 2,461,000 children living with a single father (3.50% of all children under 18 in 1995)
    • 1996
      • 2,759,000 children living with a single father (3.89% of all children under 18 in 1996)
    • 1997
      • 3,059,000 children living with a single father (4.31% of all children under 18 in 1997)
    • 1998
      • 3,143,000 children living with a single father (4.40% of all children under 18 in 1998)
    • 1999
      • 3,094,000 children living with a single father (4.32% of all children under 18 in 1999)
    • 2000
      • 3,058,000 children living with a single father (4.25% of all children under 18 in 2000)
    • 2001
      • 3,133,000 children living with a single father (4.35% of all children under 18 in 2001)
    • 2002
      • 3,297,000 children living with a single father (4.56% of all children under 18 in 2002)
    • 2003
      • 3,323,000 children living with a single father (4.55% of all children under 18 in 2003)
    • 2004
      • 3,402,000 children living with a single father (4.65% of all children under 18 in 2004)
    • 2005
      • 3,497,000 children living with a single father (4.76% of all children under 18 in 2005)
    • 2006
      • 3,458,000 children living with a single father (4.69% of all children under 18 in 2006)
    • 2007
      • 2,389,000 children living with a single father (3.24% of all children under 18 in 2007)
    • 2008
      • 2,613,000 children living with a single father (3.53% of all children under 18 in 2008)
    • 2009
      • 2,504,000 children living with a single father (3.37% of all children under 18 in 2009)
    • 2010
      • 2,572,000 children living with a single father (3.44% of all children under 18 in 2010)
    • 2011
      • 2,619,000 children living with a single father (3.54% of all children under 18 in 2011)
    • 2012
      • 2,924,000 children living with a single father (3.96% of all children under 18 in 2012)
    • 2013
      • 2,999,000 children living with a single father (4.06% of all children under 18 in 2013)
    • 2014
      • 2,848,000 children living with a single father (3.86% of all children under 18 in 2014)
    • 2015
      • 2,751,000 children living with a single father (3.74% of all children under 18 years old 2015)
    • 2016
      • 3,006,000 children living with a single father (4.08% of all children under 18 years old 2016)
    • 2017
      • 3,206,000 children living with a single father (4.35% of all children under 18 in 2017)
    • 2018
      • 3,251,000 children living with a single father (4.41% of all children under 18 in 2018)
    • 2019
      • 3,234,000 children living with a single father (4.40% of all children under 18 in 2019)
    • 2020
      • 3,270,000 children living with a single father (4.49% of all children under 18 in 2020)
    • 2021
      • 3,565,000 children living with a single father (4.91% of all children under 18 in 2021)

Single Fathers by Age in the U.S.

Age group strongly impacts the likelihood of being a single father in the U.S., with most single fathers being in their 30s or early 40s. 

These numbers show the breakdown of single fathers by age in the U.S.

  • In 2021, the age range with the greatest number of single fathers was 30 to 34 years old. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • The numbers of single fathers by age range, either with or without a cohabiting partner, are as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • Ages 15 to 24 – 269,000 single fathers
    • Ages 25 to 29 – 600,000 single fathers
    • Ages 30 to 34 – 793,000 single fathers
    • Ages 35 to 39 – 769,000 single fathers
    • Ages 40 to 44 – 716,000 single fathers
    • Ages 45 to 49 – 457,000 single fathers
    • Ages 50 to 54 – 346,000 single fathers
    • Ages 55 to 64 – 236,000 single fathers
    • Ages 65+ – 48,000 single fathers

Single Fathers by Ethnicity in the U.S.

Family and social trends almost always differ between ethnic groups, and single-fatherhood is no exception. 

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers of single fathers in the U.S. by ethnicity:

  • The White/Caucasian demographic has the greatest percentage of single fathers – 64.93% (1,637,000) of all single fathers are White. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • From 2016 to 2021, there was a 38.21% increase in Black/African-American single fathers in the U.S. This period also saw a 10.64% increase in Hispanic single fathers and a 3.04% increase in White/Caucasian single fathers. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • The numbers of single-father families with children under 18 from 2016 to 2021, broken down by ethnicity, are as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • 2016
      • White – 1,588,000 single-father families
      • Black – 301,000 single-father families
      • Hispanic Origin – 423,000 single-father families
    • 2017
      • White – 1,647,000 single-father families
      • Black – 340,000 single-father families
      • Hispanic Origin – 519,000 single-father families
    • 2018
      • White – 1,579,000 single-father families
      • Black – 357,000 single-father families
      • Hispanic Origin – 424,000 single-father families
    • 2019
      • White – 1,572,000 single-father families
      • Black – 379,000 single-father families
      • Hispanic Origin – 458,000 single-father families
    • 2020
      • White – 1,560,000 single-father families
      • Black – 354,000 single-father families
      • Hispanic Origin – 440,000 single-father families
    • 2021
      • White – 1,637,000 single-father families
      • Black – 416,000 single-father families
      • Hispanic Origin – 468,000 single-father families

Single Fathers by Education Level in the U.S.

While the percentages of single fathers with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree aren’t as high as those of single mothers, most single fathers have at least graduated from high school. 

These statistics show the education levels of America’s single fathers:

  • 83.66% of single fathers with children under 18 (with or without a cohabiting partner) have at least graduated high school. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • The numbers of single fathers with children under 18 by education level in 2021 are as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • Less than high school – 692,000 single fathers (16.34%)
    • High school graduate – 1,638,000 single fathers (38.69%)
    • Some college or associate’s degree – 1,107,000 single fathers (26.15%)
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher – 797,000 single fathers (18.82%)

Single Fathers by Employment Status in the U.S.

Most single fathers are employed, and the number seems to be increasing as more jobs become available. 

Here are the statistics on single-father employment:

  • 79.55% of single fathers with children under 18 (2,069,000) were employed in 2020, while 20.42% of single fathers (531,000) were unemployed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)5
  • The number of employed single fathers with children under 18 increased to 2,202,000 (81.67% of all single fathers) in 2021, while unemployed single fathers decreased to 494,000 (18.32%). (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)5

Single Fathers by Median Income in the U.S.

Oddly enough, single fathers without a partner make more money than those with a partner. Across all cohabitation statuses, single fathers have a significantly higher median income than single mothers. 

Here’s the census data on median incomes for single fathers:

  • In 2021, single fathers with no income earned more (median income $50,237) than their partnered counterparts. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • The median earnings of single fathers by cohabitation status in 2021 are as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • Cohabiting with joint biological child – $36,387 per year
    • Cohabiting with no joint biological child – $42,881 per year
    • Single father with no partner – $50,237 per year

Poverty Status of Single Fathers in the U.S.

Most single-father families are above the poverty line; however, the poverty line is a low bar, and costs of living vary geographically. 

Here are the numbers on poverty among single fathers: 

  • 1,941,000 single-father families (86.23%) were at or above the poverty level in 2021. The remaining 310,000 single-father families (13.77%) were below the poverty level. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
  • The majority (57.39%) of single fathers are at 200% of the poverty level or higher. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a)1
  • The numbers of single fathers by poverty level and employment status in the U.S. in 2021 are as follows: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2022)2
    • Single fathers in the labor force
      • Below 100% of poverty – 318,000 single fathers (10.57%)
      • 100% to 199% of poverty – 787,000 single fathers (26.15%)
      • 200% of poverty and above – 1,904,000 single fathers (63.28%)
    • Single fathers not in the labor force
      • Below 100% of poverty – 301,000 single fathers (54.14%)
      • 100% to 199% of poverty – 113,000 single fathers (20.32%)
      • 200% of poverty and above – 142,000 single fathers (25.54%)
    • All Single fathers
      • Below 100% of poverty – 619,000 single fathers (17.36%)
      • 100% to 199% of poverty – 900,000 single fathers (25.25%)
      • 200% of poverty and above – 2,046,000 single fathers (57.39%)

Single Fathers vs. Single Mothers

Single fathers have several benefits that single mothers don’t, including a much higher average income. These factors can allow some single fathers the resources or time to cope with the stress of single-parenthood more effectively.  

Here are some data points one study found on single-father parenting:

  • A 1998 study found that, in general, single fathers had higher education levels, better jobs, higher incomes, and less economic strain than single mothers. (Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 1998)6
  • One study found that single fathers were more comfortable with the custodial parent role and felt more in control of their lives and children’s behavior than single mothers. (Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 1998)6
  • One study found that single fathers planned more time for themselves and worked out more coping methods for the pressures of single parenting. (Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 1998)6

The Effects of Single-Fatherhood on Children

Despite any parent’s best efforts, having an absentee parent often takes a toll on a child. Children living with a single father are still more likely to develop emotional problems than children from two-parent families. 

  • Living arrangements can affect child development factors such as academic achievement, internalizing problems (depression/anxiety), or externalizing problems (anger/aggression). (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021c)7
  • Children living with a single father have higher test scores than children living with single mothers. (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2010)8
  • Whether living with a single father or a single mother, children with a single parent have more internalized and externalized behavioral problems than children with two parents. (Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 1998)6

Conclusion

Single-father families have increased in the U.S., to the point that nearly 1 in 20 American children are now living with a single father. Single fathers face many of the challenges faced by single mothers but also have significant benefits that single mothers do not. 

Because single fathers overall have higher median incomes and better jobs, they have more financial flexibility and less economic strain. This can allow some of them to provide more for their children and handle the stress of single parenting better. 

However, children of single fathers are still more likely to develop behavioral or mental health problems than children of two-parent families. In addition, many single-father families are still below – or dangerously close to – the poverty line. As single fathers become more common, so too must the social programs and support systems that allow them and their children to thrive.

Footnotes

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2021a. A report on families and living arrangements in the U.S. using 2021 census data from 60,000 American households.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, 2022. A report on single parents in the U.S. that analyzes 2021 census data from 98,000 American households.
  3. U.S. Census Bureau, 2016. A report on rates of single fatherhood pulled from 2016 U.S. census data.
  4. U.S. Census Bureau, 2021b. A report compiling a series of data tables from the U.S. Census to track the historical living arrangements of American children and using info from 98,000 American households.
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.  A report on the employment characteristics of families in 2020 citing data from a survey of 60,000 American households published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  6. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 1998. A study of 90 American parents with children aged 6 to 10 years, with an evenly-distributed composition of single-mother, single-father, and two-parent families.
  7. U.S. Census Bureau, 2021c. An infographic report on the decreasing rate of children living in two-parent families in the U.S. that utilizes U.S. census data from several years.
  8. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2010. A study of 3,519 American single-father and single-mother households to determine how each household type affects the development of children.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

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