Statistical Update: Single Fathers on the Rise

written by Fred Campos
Single Fathers on the Rise by

[S]ingle fathers used to be an anomaly. With small numbers, all of which meant you had few resources, no place to turn for solace, or for counsel. But how many of you now actually exist? How many ‘friends’ or at least single dad colleagues are out there now? How much have the numbers grown? And who are you?

Single Fathers on the Rise

We all know now that’s no longer the case. Our society has seen a proliferation of households headed by fathers, giving you credibility, understanding, and most important, resources to help you deal with your unusual circumstances. Since Americans poll and investigate everything these days, finding that information was easy.

Pew Research gives us some numbers:

  • 8% of households with minors are headed by a single father; up from just over 1% in 1960. Numerically, it’s grown from 300,000 to more than 2.6 million.
  • In 1960, men made up 14% of single parent households; today the number is 24%.
  • Single fathers are more likely to be cohabiting than are single mothers, 41%-16%. However, cohabitation decreases for fathers over the age of 40.
  • Additionally, single fathers 52% are separated, divorced, widowed, or never married. Additionally, 7% are married but living apart from their spouse.

[tweet “Divorce Trivia: 18% of single fathers are younger than 30; 47% are 40 or older.”]

  • 19% of single fathers lack a high school diploma; 10% of married fathers lack same.
  • The average income for a single dad household of three is $40,000, far from the median income of $70,000 among households headed by married fathers, but far ahead of the median for single mothers’ $26,000.
  • 36% of fathers living at or just below the poverty line are single parents; this drops to 13% for those living above the poverty line.

What Do We Learn from the Data?

The information gives us great insight into the world of single fathers, and maybe even gives us a snapshot as to where our society is headed. Are single fathers on the rise? It’s dangerous however, to plug yourself into these numbers and make any long-term determinations about you and your future. Everyone’s situation is different, and making a limiting forecast about your life can prove limiting, maybe even dangerous.

This is only a sampling of statistics for single parent families in America. For more, go to

What are your thoughts on the increase in single father households?

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  1. Terry Walker

    Yes, today fathers have to prove themselves with the kind of care they can take to protect and in the care of rearing children. This article reminds me of my child custody case where I gave my ex wife compensation. Then I found that she spends the money partying. My child was alone with no care. I knew it was time to change things so, I approached where they solved my case.

    • FullCustodyDad


      good to hear, tell Soyoung, Mike, Sae if they would like a free listing, to let me know.

  2. Cory Stevenson

    While this article may suggest that more dads are gaining custody, I am not sure we should be proud as to the number of single parents growing in this country. We seem to have lost sight of the long term commitment of something we use to call marriage.

    “Til death we part,” has been kicked to the curb.


    • FullCustodyDad


      I tend to agree with you. Marriage is tough, and our society has slipped into a selfie center culture, where we don’t preserve when times get tough. My only forward thinking thought is we must teach and educate our children well–to decide and marry well. So perhaps, we can change this trend.

      My thoughts. Thanks for commenting!


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