- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of
Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes –
32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless
homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14
times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times
the average. (National Principals Association Report)
Father Factor in Education - Fatherless children are twice
as likely to drop out of school.
- Children with Fathers who are involved are 40% less likely to repeat a
grade in school.
- Children with Fathers who are involved are 70% less likely to drop out
- Children with Fathers who are involved are more likely to get A’s in
- Children with Fathers who are involved are more likely to enjoy school
and engage in extracurricular activities.
- 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from
fatherless homes – 10 times the average.
Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse - Researchers at
Columbia University found that children living in two-parent household with a
poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or
use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. Teens in single
mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent
- 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes
– 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
- 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the
average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)
Father Factor in Incarceration – Even after controlling
for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher
odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never
had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. A 2002 Department
of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in
mother-only households. Approximately forty-six percent of jail inmates in
2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a
father in prison or jail.
Father Factor in Crime - A study of 109 juvenile offenders
indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency.
Adolescents, particularly boys, in single-parent families were at higher risk
of status, property and person delinquencies. Moreover, students attending
schools with a high proportion of children of single parents are also at risk.
A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without
their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household and
sixteen percent lived with neither parent
Father Factor in Child Abuse – Compared to living with
both parents, living in a single-parent home doubles the risk that a child
will suffer physical, emotional, or educational neglect. The overall rate of
child abuse and neglect in single-parent households is 27.3 children per
1,000, whereas the rate of overall maltreatment in two-parent households is
15.5 per 1,000.
Daughters of single parents without a Father involved are 53% more likely
to marry as teenagers, 711% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164%
more likely to have a pre-marital birth and 92% more likely to get divorced
Adolescent girls raised in a 2 parent home with involved Fathers are
significantly less likely to be sexually active than girls raised without
- 43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]
- 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. [US
D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
- 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless
homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]
- 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of
- 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless
homes. [Center for Disease Control]
- 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray
Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p.
- 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [National
Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
- 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from
fatherless homes. [Rainbows f for all God’s Children]
- 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father. [US
Department of Justice, Special Report, Sept. 1988]
- 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County
Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992]
- Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high
school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need
help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release,
March 26, 1999]
Census Fatherhood Statistics
- 64.3 million: Estimated number of fathers across the nation
- 26.5 million: Number of fathers who are part of married-couple families
with their own children under the age of 18.
Among these fathers -
- 22 percent are raising three or more of their own children under 18
years old (among married-couple family households only).
- 2 percent live in the home of a relative or a non-relative.
- 2.5 million: Number of single fathers, up from 400,000 in 1970.
Currently, among single parents living with their children, 18 percent are
Among these fathers -
- 8 percent are raising three or more of their own children under 18
- 42 percent are divorced, 38 percent have never married, 16 percent
are separated and 4 percent are widowed. (The percentages of those
divorced and never married are not significantly different from one
- 16 percent live in the home of a relative or a non-relative.
- 27 percent have an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
- 85 percent: Among the 30.2 million fathers living with children younger
than 18, the percentage who lived with their biological children only.
- 11 percent lived with step-children
- 4 percent with adopted children
- < 1 percent with foster children
Recent policies encourage the development of programs designed to
improve the economic status of low-income nonresident fathers and the
financial and emotional support provided to their children. This brief
provides ten key lessons from several important early responsible
fatherhood initiatives that were developed and implemented during the
1990s and early 2000s. Formal evaluations of these earlier fatherhood
efforts have been completed making this an opportune time to step back and
assess what has been learned and how to build on the early programs’
successes and challenges.While the
following statistics are formidable, the Responsible Fatherhood research
literature generally supports the claim that a loving and nurturing father
improves outcomes for children, families and communities.
- Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to
do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and
pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use,
truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved
- Studies on parent-child relationships and child wellbeing show that
father love is an important factor in predicting the social, emotional,
and cognitive development and functioning of children and young adults.
- 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.
- Nearly 20 million children (27 percent) live in single-parent homes.
- 43 percent of first marriages dissolve within fifteen years; about 60
percent of divorcing couples have children; and approximately one million
children each year experience the divorce of their parents.
- Fathers who live with their children are more likely to have a close,
enduring relationship with their children than those who do not.
- Compared to children born within marriage, children born to cohabiting
parents are three times as likely to experience father absence, and
children born to unmarried, non-cohabiting parents are four times as
likely to live in a father-absent home.
- About 40 percent of children in father-absent homes have not seen their
father at all during the past year; 26 percent of absent fathers live in a
different state than their children; and 50 percent of children living
absent their father have never set foot in their father’s home.
- Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at
least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to
experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be
victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their
peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.
- From 1995 to 2000, the proportion of children living in single-parent
homes slightly declined, while the proportion of children living with two
married parents remained stable.