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Population Profiles:
Women and Men
 
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Where's Dad?

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  Two out of three fathers are married. And many of the 26 million married Dads with children under 18 at home are making a commitment to be more involved with child-rearing. Among young children with mothers in the labor force, fathers are the most likely caregivers, taking care of more than 2 million pre-schoolers (1 out of 5). There are well over 100,000 fathers who have dropped out of the labor force themselves to stay-at-home with their kids. And, additional evidence that dads are trading off "self" interests for the sake of their children is that, since 1981*, fathers are spending significantly more time with their children—up to five hours per week in households with working moms!  
  What about the other third? Since 1970 the proportion of single parents that are fathers has doubled, making single-father families the fastest growing type of family in the last thirty years (509% increase, or 5.4% average annual growth). There is currently one single father for every five single mothers. If the current growth rate continues, by 2045 the number of single parent families would split evenly between moms and dads. While more than 2 million single dads are taking care of their children under 18, twenty-five percent of all fathers are single and "non-custodial". Of these, half never see their offspring, 26% live in a different state, and roughly 500,000 at any given time are in custody themselves!  
  Fast Fact: Among 2 million custodial single fathers, 3 in 10 are living with an unmarried partner. This compares to 1 in 10 single mothers who are co-habiting.  
     
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U.S. Men with Children 2000
Source: US Census Bureau; Census 2000; Current Population Survey
America's Families and Living Arrangements [PDF 147K]; *Population Studies Center,
University of Michigan
: Changes in Children's Time with Parents, U.S. 1981-1997

FATHERS BY MARITAL STATUS AND CUSTODIAL RELATIONSHIP TO CHILDREN SINGLE CUSTODIAL FATHERS
WITH OWN CHILDREN UNDER 18
BY MARITAL STATUS
FATHERS' TIME SPENT WITH CHILDREN
PER WEEK (Scale in percent)
PROPORTION OF SINGLE FATHER HOUSEHOLDS BY STATE (Nat'l Avg: 2.1%)
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