Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Old Dad

The U.S. Census Bureau does more than just count the number of people who live in the country. They're a collector of all sorts of demographic information, and they share that information with everyone.  A couple of dozen times a year, they put together Facts for Features, collections of statistics from their demographic and economic subject areas. Father's Day is one of their observances; here are some of their interesting tidbits:
  • The estimated number of fathers in the United States is 70.1 million
  • In 2010 there were 1.8 million single fathers; 15 percent of single parents were men.
  • As of 2008, there were 8,111 men’s clothing stores, 16,010 hardware stores, and 22,116 sporting goods stores around the country
  • The estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2010 was 154,000.
  • In spring 2005, the percentage of preschoolers regularly cared for by their father during their mother’s working hours was 16 percent.
  • The percentage of children younger than 6 who ate breakfast with their father every day in 2006 was 53 percent, and those who ate dinner together every day was 71 percent. (The corresponding percentages who ate with their mother were 58 percent and 80 percent.)
  • Six percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to by their fathers each week in 2006.
  • Sixty-six percent of children younger than 6 were praised three or more times a day by their fathers.


  1. Kathy that's some interesting stats, times sure are changing from when I was a child.

  2. nice to know some kids are read to by their fathers.

  3. very interesting! Nobody eats breakfast together in our house! ha.

  4. The stat about 15 percent of single parents are dads is kind of puzzling. By "single parents". I wonder if they mean "parents with primary custody of their children who happen to be unwed" or just "parents who are unwed"? Because if it's the latter, I'd expect the number to be closer to 50% (it takes two to tango....).

    Unless most dads get remarried but most moms don't?

    Interesting :)

    It does sound like dads in general need to read more to their kids. In our house, 50% of children are read to by their father each night (my hubby takes one kid and I take the other, and we alternate kids/nights). We also read every night, except on the ones where our 6-year old volunteers to read to her little brother instead :)