America’s stay-at-home dads

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Previously we have counted stay-at home dads using public data from the ACS PUMS. In this post we will use a larger dataset to look deeper into stay-at-home fathers’ demographics. In the broadest sense, a stay-at-home dad is a father who is the main caregiver for his children. While this definition is concise, it is not very useful if one wants to study stay-at-home fathers quantitatively using publicly available data. So here we will use a more narrow definition: stay-at-home fathers are those not at work (for any reason) with a wife who has a job and is at work. We only count fathers with household children under 18 years old. We will use the latest 2014 five-year ACS PUMS release for these calculations.

From the age distributions we see that stay-at-home fathers are a bit older than their working counterparts: the median age of a working father is 41, while a stay-at-home father’s median age is 45. The most-populated age group is 35-44 years old: 40 percent of working fathers fall here, while only 31 percent of stay-at-home fathers are in this age group.

Working dads are much more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher: 38 percent, while only 20 percent of stay-at-home dads have one. Almost 20 percent of stay-at-home dads have less than a high school level of education. Interestingly, an associate’s degree or an equivalent two-year degree is nearly equally common among working and stay-at-home dads: 28 percent and 31 percent respectively.

Almost 59 percent of stay-at-home fathers are white, while 14 percent are African-American. Among working fathers, 66 percent are withe and only 7 percent are African-American. Hispanic fathers are equally likely to be working or stay-at-home, with a share of 18 percent. A similar situation is found among Asian fathers: 6% of stay-at-home dads are Asian, while among working fathers their share is 7%.

The proportion of foreign-born working and stay-at home fathers is the same: about 23 percent.

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About Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Alexander is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He currently holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Math. He has experience working for industry major companies performing research in the fields of machine learning, data mining and natural language processing. In his free time, Alexander enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing and traveling.

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