With the economy in the shape it's been for so long, it is no wonder more and more people are deciding to stay home to take care of their families, over putting their children in pricey day care centers. What may be surprising to some people is that the amount of stay-at-home fathers has risen to 2 million as of 2012. According to the PEW Research Center the main contributing factor to the long-term growth of stay-at-home dads is the rising number of men who stay at home for the primary purpose of caring for their families. This Father's Day, I wanted to dig deeper into the world of stay-at-home dads, as I have a very personal interest - my husband Jason is a stay-at-home father to our 2 year old daughter, Sophia.
As of 2012, 16% of stay-at-home parents are fathers - a number which has jumped up from 10% in 1989. More surprising then that, however are how the reasons for staying home have changed in those 23 years. The top reason for staying home has remained the same, being ill or disabled, but the percentage has dropped 21%, from 56% in 1989, to 35% in 2012. This decline is due, in part, to the 16 point jump in the percentage of men staying home for the main reason my husband is, which is to specifically care for the family, which is up from 5% to 21%. Stay at home fathers also seem to have less education than their working counterparts, with 58% of stay at home dads' highest form of education being high school or less (while only 36% of working fathers are in the same category). This is also very relatable to my current situation, as my husband is currently going to school for graphic design, and staying home with our daughter has allowed him the time to study and maintain a 3.9 GPA.
Working in Market Research over the past 6 years, I get excited whenever new studies come out - there is something about seeing the words "percent" and "sample" that put an instant smile on my face. My husband would be the first to tell you that I have numbers in my veins . That is why this release from the PEW Research Center was so interesting to me. It tied my personal life and my professional life together in such perfect harmony. These days, non-traditional family units are the norm, and I couldn't be happier with our "swapped" gender roles.
In closing, I want to wish a very Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Regardless of your work situation, know you are appreciated and loved!
To read the release from the PEW Research center, please click here.
For more information about Jennifer Munro, please click here.