Study: ‘House Husbands’ More Common Than Ever

Census data show the portion of U.S. households with stay-at-home dads is on the rise

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More dads are staying at home with the kids, according to a new study in the Journal of Family Issues

The study used data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to compare characteristics of families in which at least one spouse had a full-time job. Researchers found that between 1976 and 2009, the percentage of households with stay-at-home dads increased steadily.

Over the last decade, the percentage of house dads increased to 3.5%, or 550,000 dads. In the ’70s, only 280,000 men were staying at home, representing only 2% of the families analyzed.

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The study only analyzed data from families comprised of married couples with children where at least one spouse worked 35 hours a week; stay-at-home parents are those who did not work for pay outside of the home. Thirty-three percent of such households, according to the report, have stay-at-home moms, which is down from the 51.9% of moms who didn’t work outside of the home in the ‘70s.

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The research team headed by Karen Kramer, a sociologist at the University of Illinois, who authored the Journal report, estimates that more than 1.1 million kids lived in houses where dad’s office was also the family living room, though the research doesn’t classify these men as caregivers. In fact, the report says that only about 22% of stay-at-home dads are primary caregivers with the majority being disabled, sick or unable to find employment.

The stay-at-home dads are an average of 41-years-old and 36% of them are less educated than their wives. In comparison, 27% of stay-at-home moms are less educated than their husbands and on average their households have about $11,000 more income. 

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