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The Extent of Fatherlessness

 

 

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The data below records the prevalence of physical fatherlessness, which affects more than 25,000,000 children. Emotional fatherlessness—when dad is in the home, but not emotionally engaged with his child's life—affects millions more.

     1. Current Data

- 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.


- Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39 percent (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological fathers.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers' and Mothers' Involvement in their Children's Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. Table 1. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Education, National Center of Education Statistics, 2001.


- 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological fathers.

Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements 2012. Current Population Report. U.S.  Census Bureau July 1, 2012.

 

- According to 72.2 % of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.

Source: National Center for Fathering, Fathering in America Poll, January, 1999.



     2. Trended Data

- Among children who were part of the “post-war generation,” 87.7% grew up with two biological parents who were married to each other. Today only 68.1% will spend their entire childhood in an intact family.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. “Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present”. U.S.  Census Bureau July 1, 2012.
http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/ch5.xls


- With the increasing number of premarital births and a continuing high divorce rate, the proportion of children living with just one parent rose from 9.1% in 1960 to 20.7% in 2012. Currently, 55.1% of all black children, 31.1% of all Hispanic children, and 20.7% of all white children are living in single-parent homes.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. “Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present”. U.S.  Census Bureau July 1, 2012.
http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/ch5.xls

 

Children Living with Mother Only

Source: Census Bureau. “Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present.” U.S. Census Bureau, July 1, 2012.
http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/ch5.xls

 

- White children born in the 1950-1954 period spent only 8% of their childhood with just one parent; black children spent 22%. Of those born in 1980, by one estimate, white children can be expected to spend 31% of their childhood years with one parent, and black children 59%.

Source: Popenoe, David. Life Without Father (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), 23.

 

Children Living with Mother Only (White, Black, Hispanic)


Source: US Census Bureau, "Living Arrangements of Children Under 18": Tables –CH-2, CH-3, CH-4. 1960 – Present. U.S.  Census Bureau July 1, 2012.

 
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