Father Facts

The following statistics are published in the Father Facts study by the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Let’s start with the fact that 72% of folks in our population believe the physical absence of the father from the home is the most significant problem facing Americans. And the problem is growing. In 1995, one out of every three births was to a mother who was not married to the father. That rate approaches 3 out of ever 4 in economically depressed areas. 4 in 10 children live absent from their biological father. About 40% of the children who live in fatherless households haven’t seen their fathers in at least a year while 50% of children who don’t live with their fathers have never stepped foot in their father’s home. In other words, fatherlessness is a growing epidemic.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a four-term U.S. Senator, recently passed away. But his view on the necessity of fathers lives on. He said: “From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future — that community asks for and gets chaos.” Want evidence that he was right?

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
    (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
    (Source: Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes
    (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
    (Source: National Principals Report on the State of High Schools .)
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
    (Source: Rainbows for all God`s Children.)
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home
    (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)

These statistics translate to mean that children from a fatherless home are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • Boys are 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

As fatherhood goes, so society goes. Let’s do our part to turn the hearts of the fathers towards their children and the children to their fathers.