Statistics on Stay-at-home Dads in 2011

[Update: Also see the real number of stay-at-home dads in 2011]

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there were 154,000 stay-at-home dads as of 2010. The Census Bureau releases a press release on Father’s Day each year summarizing the number of stay-at-home dads under the heading “Mr. Mom”. This heavily-cited release is based on raw data called the Families and Living Arrangements analysis of the Current Population Survey which is conducted in March each year.

The Census Bureau defines stay-at-home dads as:

“These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home.”

The data used in the press release on stay-at-home dads comes from the current Families and Living Arrangements page, Table SHP-1 (70% to the bottom of the page). Table SHP-1 shows data on stay-at-home parents from 1994 until 2011.

The most recent data confirm 154,000 stay-at-home dads in 2010 and show 176,000 stay-at-home dads as of 2011. Also as of 2011, Table SHP-1 shows 21,689,000 married couple family groups with children under the age of 15 and 4,976,000 stay-at-home moms. A graph of the percentage of stay-at-home parents relative to the total number of married couples with children under the age of 15 is below:

Statistics on Stay-at-home Dads - Percentage of Stay-at-home Parents Over Time

The percentage of stay-at-home moms dwarfs the percentage of stay-at-home dads. Although the trend line of stay-at-home dads in increasing in the top graph, viewing a graph of the percentage of stay-at-home dads by itself presents a clearer picture. The graph below shows the percentage of stay-at-home dads relative to the total number of married couples with children under the age of 15. The trend shows that the percentage of parents who are stay-at-home dads has more than doubled since 1994.

Statistics on Stay-at-home Dads - Percentage of Stay-at-home Dads Over Time

Finally, the third graph shows the percentage of stay-at-home parents who are dads. In other words, first we add up the total number of stay-at-home moms plus the total number of stay-at-home dads. Then we determine what percentage of that total are stay-at-home dads. In 2011, 3.42% of stay-at-home parents were stay-at-home dads.

Statistics on Stay-at-home Dads - Proportion of Stay-at-home Parents Who Are Dads