Rates of Stay-at-Home Dads Are on the Rise but How Do They Compare to Stay-at-Home Moms?

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Back in September, a study published in the Journal of Family Issues noted that more than half-million dads were staying home with the kids as stay-at-home fathers. The research, which was conducted by sociologist Karen Z. Kramer of the University of Illinois, found that over the past decade more than 550,000 men were stay-at-home fathers, which is about 3.5 percent of the married with kids population. In the 1970s, only about 2 percent of that same population belonged to stay at-home fathers. The data was collected from the Current Population Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But a new bar graph taken from the US Census shows that the margin between stay-at-home mothers and stay-at-home fathers is wider than ever. Take a look:

US Census bureau

It’s interesting to see just how much the number of SAHDs has grown from 1194 onward — and though the numbers dipped in 1999, 2001 and 2008 (which were, unsurprisingly, tough years for the American economy), they quickly shot back up to new highs the year after, with the largest growth taking place between 2001 and 2002 and 2012 to 2013.

For her study, Kramer took noted that in 2000 one-in-five families had a father who embraced the stay-at-home life. She wrote, “the change from virtually no fathers reporting that they stay at home to more than one-fifth of fathers (staying) at home… indicates a major shift in domestic and family arrangements. Once a family gets into the routine of functioning as a SAHF (stay-at-home-father) household the husband becomes more selective about which jobs he’ll accept, and he’ll only go back to work if he finds something he thinks is appropriate.”

At this time, The Census Bureau estimates that more than 626,000 men with freelance or part-time jobs were stay-at-home fathers.

Do you think we’ll start to see more and more dads staying home with the kids?

Plus, more from The Bump:

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad

Men Tell All: 8 Changes to Marriage Every New Dad Should Expect

Top 10 Things Every New Dad Should Know