According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation approximately 35 percent of U.S. children under age 18 live in a single-parent home as of 2016. These children have a greater risk of drug and alcohol use, incarceration, poverty, dropping out of high school, suicide, running away or homelessness. Here are the statistics to lend support to those greater risks.
*85% of youth who are currently in prison grew up in a fatherless home. (Texas Department of Corrections)
7 out of every 10 youth that are housed in state-operated correctional facilities, including detention and residential treatment, come from a fatherless home. (U.S. Department of Justice)
39% of students in the United States, from the first grade to their senior year of high school, do not have a father at home. Children without a father are 4 times more likely to be living in poverty than children with a father. (National Public Radio)
Children from fatherless homes are two times as likely to drop out from school before graduating than children who have a father in their lives. (National Public Radio)
24.7 million children in the United States live in a home where their biological father is not present. That equates to 1 in every 3 children in the United States not having access to their father. (National Public Radio)
Girls who live in a fatherless home have a 100% higher risk of suffering from obesity than girls who have their father present. Teen girls from fatherless homes are also 4 times more likely to become mothers before the age of 20. (National Public Radio)
57% of the fatherless homes in the United States involved African-American/Black households. Hispanic households have a 31% fatherless rate and Caucasian/White households have a 20% fatherless rate. (National Public Radio)
Children who live in a single-parent home are 2 times more likely to commit suicide than children in a two-parent home. (The Lancet)
72% of Americans believe that a fatherless home is the most significant social problem and family problem that is facing their country. (National Center for Fathering)
75% of rapists are motivated by displaced anger that is associated with feelings of abandonment that involves their father. (U.S. Department of Justice)
Living in a fatherless home is a contributing factor to substance abuse, with children from such homes accounting for 75% of adolescent patients being treated in substance abuse centers. (U.S. Department of Justice)
90% of the youth in the United States who decide to run away from home, or become homeless for any reason, originally come from a fatherless home. (U.S. Department of Justice)
63% of youth suicides involve a child who was living in a fatherless home when they made their final decision. (U.S. Department of Justice)
The median income for a household with a single mother is $35,400. The median income for a home with a married couple raising their children is $85,300 in the United States. (U.S. Census Bureau) (*Note: The above stats are from the Life is Beautiful website.)
Fathers Play a Very Important Role
Men and women, fathers and mothers are different. They are both vital in the raising of a child, but they parent differently while both add to a child’s development in so many unique ways. The above statistics lend value to the role that fathers play in particular. Too many today are attempting to tell us or show us in film and TV that men do not play important roles in our societies.
Perhaps a reason for this is that some men have left their post and sought a self-centered lifestyle. This absence has created a psychological need to “fill in the blank” so to speak by saying, “Are they really necessary anyway?” It obviously takes a male to create a family, but it takes a man to care for and love a family all the days of his and their life.
Fathers who are present and committed to their families bring security, provision, discipline, help build identity, can teach respect for oneself and others, especially toward women. Male or female, God says we are equal, but neither are unimportant or unnecessary. I love how our heavenly Father designed things this way. From Adam and Eve to your family today, God has given each of us a responsibility to fulfill. His word reminds us of this when it says, “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:6)
May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants.
May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. (Psalms 144: 12-13 NLT)