Fatherhood Facts

  • 80 percent of the children who were "post-war generation" could expect to grow up with two biological parents who were married to each other. Today, only about 50 percent of our children will spend their entire childhood in an intact family. 24 million children in America sleep in homes where their natural fathers do not live.
  • In 2000, 29 percent of Alabama’s families with minor children were headed by a single parent compared to the national average of 27 percent. Divorce and non-marital childbearing have become commonplace and have dramatically altered children’s lives. Approximately half of the children in the United States will live in a single parent home at some point before age 18 years.
  • About 35 percent of newborns each year are born to unmarried parents in Alabama. In several counties, this rate is over 50 percent. Alabama currently has the 4th highest divorce rate in the country.
  • Nationally, 40 percent of children whose fathers live outside the home have no contact with them. The other 60 percent had contact an average of 69 days during the year. 26 percent of absent fathers live in a different state than their children.
  • Children from father-absent homes are five times more likely to live in poverty, 3 times more likely to fail in school, two to three times more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems, and three times more likely to commit suicide.
  • In 1999, 23 percent of Alabama’s children lived in poverty. There were only 5 states with higher percentages of children in poverty during 1999.
  • The chief predictor of crime in a neighborhood is the percentage of homes without fathers. Up to 70 percent of adolescents charged with murder are from fatherless homes. Up to 70 percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in fatherless homes.
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