Census: US has 70.1 million dads

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

If you wanted to send a Father’s Day card to every dad in the country, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates you’d have to address 70.1 million envelopes.
Today’s the day when thoughts turn toward Dad, and usually there’s a specific person in mind.
Census statisticians take individual data and pool it together to uncover a variety of facts about fathers.
For instance, there were 24.7 million married fathers with children younger than 18 in 2011. Of those, 21 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18.
There were 17 million single fathers in 2011. About 45 percent were divorced, 31 percent were never married, 19 percent were separated and 5 percent were widowed.
The U.S. had about 176,000 stay-at-home dads in 2011. Those are men who’ve stayed out of the workforce for one year to care for children younger than 15.
While their wives worked outside the home, these men cared for 332,000 children. In spring of 2010, 17 percent of preschoolers were cared for by their fathers.
According to 2009 figures, custodial fathers received $1.9 billion in child-support payments, and they were due $3.5 billion. By comparison, custodial mothers received $19.5 billion, and they were due $31.7 billion.
To further break those numbers down, 34 percent of custodial fathers got all of the child-support payments they were legally due, and 42 percent of custodial mothers got 100 percent of their payments.
When you went shopping for dad, you could’ve bought an ugly tie at one of 7,708 men’s clothing stores in the U.S. Maybe your dad got something from one of 15,734 hardware stores or 21,628 sporting goods stores. Those shopping numbers are from 2009, so take them with a grain of Great Recession-era salt.
Since we’re talking about history, you wouldn’t have had a reason to go shopping for dad in 1909 because the first Father’s Day wasn’t until June 17, 1910.
President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in July as Father’s Day in 1966, and the day became an annual event in 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed a law to make it permanent.
scott.morris@journalinc.com