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Father's Day by the Numbers

One. That's me. Two. My Dad. Three. My father-in-law ...

Earlier, I told you how I'd be spending Father's Day and asked you to let us know how you're celebrating.

Now, we're adding a little bit of the why—why we celebrate Father's Day, and how it got started in the first place.

Here's our Father's Day by the Numbers:

The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by
Sonora Dodd of Spokane, WA, while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon
in 1909.

Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a
widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm.
A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration 101 years
ago, June 19, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month
of Smart’s birth.

The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

How Many Fathers?

70.1 million—the estimated number of fathers across the nation.

Source: Unpublished data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation

25.3 million—Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2010.

  • 22 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18 (among married-couple family households only).
  • 3 percent lived in someone else’s home.


Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements <
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html>

1.8 million—Number of single fathers in 2010; 15 percent of single parents were men.

  • Nine percent were raising three or more children younger than 18.
  • About 46 percent were divorced, 30 percent were never married, 19 percent were separated, and 6 percent were widowed.
  • 39 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.

Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements <
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html>

Thinking of You, Dad

8,111—The number of men’s clothing stores around the country (as of 2008), a good place to buy dad a tie or shirt.

Source: County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

16,010—The number of hardware stores (as of 2008), a place to buy hammers,
wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father’s Day
gifts. Additionally, there were 7,009 home centers across the country in
2008.

Source: County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/

22,116—Number of sporting goods stores in 2008. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad, such as fishing rods and golf clubs.

Source: County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

81.5 million—The number of Americans who participated in a barbecue in the last year. It’s probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father’s Day.

Source: Mediamark Research & Intelligence, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011.
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/

Mr. Mom

154,000—Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2010. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work
outside the home. These fathers cared for 287,000 children.

Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html>

16 percent—In spring 2005, the percentage of preschoolers regularly cared for by their father during their mother’s working hours.

Source: Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2005/Summer 2006 
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb10-123.html>

Time with Daddy

53 percent and 71 percent—Percentages of children younger than 6 who ate breakfast and dinner, respectively, with their father every day in 2006. The corresponding percentages who ate with their mother were 58 percent and 80 percent. (The percentages of children who ate breakfast with their mother or father, respectively, were not significantly different from each another.)

Source: A Child’s Day: 2006 
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/2006_detailedtables.html>

36 percent—Percentage of children younger than 6 who had 15 or more outings with their father in the last month, as of 2006.

Source: A Child’s Day: 2006 <
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/2006_detailedtables.html>

6—Average times children ages 3 to 5 were read to by their fathers in the
past week, as of 2006.

Source: A Child’s Day: 2006 <
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/2006_detailedtables.html>

66 Percent—Percentage of children younger than 6 who were praised three or more times a day by their fathers.

Source: A Child’s Day: 2006 
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/2006_detailedtables.html>

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