Fatherless Homes Statistics

20 Fatherless Homes Statistics in 2023 (U.S. & World)

20 Fatherless Homes Statistics in 2023 (U.S. & World)

Fatherless homes are a growing problem in the United States. We have gathered some important fatherless homes statistics to raise awareness of this problem.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, 24.7 million children (33%) in the United States lived in fatherless homes. This number has increased by 25% since 1960.

There are several reasons why children are growing up without their fathers.

Events like divorce, separation, and death are a few of those reasons.

Other reasons may include incarceration, abandonment, and never having been married.

In no way are these statistics about children who come from fatherless homes intended to demean the role of single mother homes.

We think single moms are heroes, but like us all, they sometimes need help.

These statistics about fatherless homes will address how widespread this issue is, the importance of having a present and involved father, and how not having a father present and involved affects children.

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Key Statistics 

  • 24.7 million children (33%) in the United States live in fatherless homes.
  • Children living in fatherless homes have increased by 25% since 1960.
  • 45.6% of Black children lived with their mother only in 2021.
  • 85% of children with absent fathers get involved in crime.
  • 70% of children in fatherless homes have dropped out of high school. 
  • Children living in fatherless homes are 4 times more apt to live in poverty.
  • Girls raised in fatherless homes are 8 times more apt to become a teenage mother.
  • 85% of all children living without a father experience behavioral disorder.
  • Teenagers with positive and nurturing fathers are 80% less apt to go to prison.
  • 20.2% of fathers are considered absent fathers according to 2019 data.

Fatherless Homes Statistics You Need to Know in 2023


1. 24.7 Million Children (33%) in The United States Lived in Fatherless Homes as Of 2021.

The United States Census Bureau reported that in 2021, an estimated 24.7 million (roughly 33%) children lived in absent-father homes.

These statistics include children and fathers of all ages, ethnicities, and statuses.

(National Center for Fathering)

2. Children Living in Fatherless Homes Rose from 10.7% to 21% Between 1968 and 2020.

Since 1968, the number of children who live with both parents has decreased, while the percentage of those living primarily with their mother has doubled.

The percentage of children living in fatherless homes rose from 10.7% to 21% between 1968 and 2020.

(United States Census Bureau)

3. 45.6% of Black Children Lived with Their Mother only In 2021.

In terms of race, Black children account for 45.6% of children who live with their mothers only, making this demographic the highest.

Among Hispanic children, 24.5% live with their mothers only and only 16.7% of White children live with their mother only. 


4. In 1970, 29.5% of Black Children Lived with Their Mother Only.

If you look at the 2021 fatherless homes statistics compared to the data from 1970, you will see that 29.5% of Black children lived with their mother present only.

This is significantly less than in 2021, but it still represented the highest figure among children living only with their mothers. 


5. 85% of children with Absent Fathers Get Involved in Crime.

Research has shown that 85% of minors who are in prison have an absentee father.

Children without a present and involved father are more apt to get involved in delinquency and commit crimes, including youth crimes and violent crimes. 


6. 70% of Children in Fatherless Homes Have Dropped out Of High School. 

Data shows that children in fatherless homes are more apt to experience poor academic performance and truancy than those homes where their father is present and involved.

Furthermore, they are more apt to leave school by the age of 16, and they aren’t motivated to obtain higher education.


7. Children Living in Fatherless Homes Are 4 Times More Apt to Live in Poverty.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 revealed that children living in fatherless homes are 4 times more apt to live in poverty.

This results in children who have fewer networking connections to help them get good jobs as adults and is an obstacle for those who desire high-paying jobs. 


8. Girls Raised in Fatherless Homes Are 8 Times More Apt to Become a Teenage Mother.

Young girls whose fathers aren’t present and involved are more likely to become pregnant. Once this cycle starts, it’s nearly impossible to avoid a repetitious cycle.

This kind of data should tell us the importance of a stable and involved father figure. 

(Washington Examiner)

9. 85% of All Children Living without A Father Experience Behavioral Disorder. 

A 2002 study by Sigle-Rushton, & McLanahan revealed that 85% of children from fatherless homes will eventually exhibit behavioral disorders.

This is believed to be associated with lower self-esteem, higher anxiety, and stress or depression that can occur when the father isn’t present or involved.


10. Teenagers with Positive and Nurturing Fathers Are 80% Less Apt to Go to Prison.


Incarceration is associated with fatherless children, but when the father is involved and present (in a positive way), children are 80% less likely to be incarcerated.

This data comes from 1998 studies conducted by research companies like Harris, Furstenberg and Marmer. It’s unlikely this data has changed because human nature is quite consistent.


11. Teens with A Stable Fatherly Presence Are 75% Less Likely to Become Teen Parents. 

According to a study from 1998 by Harris, Furstenberg, and Marmer, adolescents with positive and nurturing relationships with their fathers were 75% less likely to become pregnant.

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Regardless of opinions about this topic, the fact remains that stable and engaged fathers can have a positive impact on their children.


12. 20.2% of Fathers Are Considered Absent Fathers According to 2019 Data.

There are roughly 7 million dads who are considered absent fathers in the United States, according to U.S. Census data from 2019.

That represents around 20.2% of all fathers. This data also represents fathers of all of their minor children. 

(United States Census Bureau 2019)

13. 1 in 4 Children Are Living without A Father in Their Home.

The data shows that 1 in 4 children live in fatherless homes. This ratio represents around 18.4 million children who have absent fathers.

This includes living without a biological father, stepfather, or adoptive father in the home or otherwise present in their lives.

(National Fatherhood Initiative)

14. 63% of Suicides Among Children and Teens Are from Fatherless Homes. 

Suicide is high among children living in fatherless homes. Sadly, 63% of suicides among youth are from fatherless homes. This figure accounts for 5 times the average in suicides.

Bringing more awareness to the importance of having involved fathers is needed.

(The Learning Dad Blog)

15. Children with Involved Fathers Are 40% Less Apt to Repeat a Grade in School.

Research has shown that children who come from fatherless homes are 2 times as likely to drop out of school compared to those with a present father.

However, children who have a father in the home or are involved in their lives are 40% less apt to repeat a grade in school.

(Blue Ridge Counseling)

16. 75% of Minor Children Who Are Patients in Chemical Abuse Centers Came from Fatherless Homes. 

Sadly, children without a fatherly presence are more likely to use drugs or other chemicals and become addicted than those with a present father.

In fact, data shows that 75% of adolescents in rehab centers came from fatherless homes. This figure represents 10 times the national average.

(Blue Ridge Counseling)

17. Absent and Solo Dads Are More Likely to Not Have a College Degree.

When compared to fathers of minor children, absent and solo fathers are both unlikely to have a college degree.

Likewise, they are also less likely to be employed or to make a living wage with which to care for their children.

Absent and solo fathers are also more apt to be divorced than those of minor children in general. 

(United States Census Bureau 2019)

18. 72% of The Population in The United States Believe that Fatherless Homes Are the Biggest Social and Family Issue Facing Their Country. 

Key statistics like this one are shocking and disheartening. However, it’s factual and needs to be addressed for awareness among all people.

Fathers who don’t realize how their lack of presence has a negative impact on their children need to step up and be present and positive. 

(Knowledge for Men)

19. 70% of Runaways, Child Murderers, and Juvenile Delinquents Come from Fatherless Homes.

According to research from Duke University and Richard E. Redding, 70% of runaways are children of fatherless homes.

Likewise, 70% of those who come from fatherless homes are also child murderers and juvenile delinquents. This data is from 2008, but it’s unlikely to have changed much.

(Fix Family Courts)

20. Divorce Is the Leading Cause of Fatherless Homes.


Since the 1960s, divorce has been the biggest cause for fatherless homes. Second to divorce is having a child out of wedlock.

Also, after a divorce, it’s usually the father who becomes the absent parent in a child’s life.

(Fathers.com, Legal Jobs)


What Is a Fatherless Home?

A fatherless home is a home where the father is not present.

This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as divorce, separation, death, incarceration, abandonment, or never having been married.

What Are the Challenges of Growing up In a Fatherless Home?

Children who grow up in fatherless homes are more likely to experience a variety of challenges, including:

• Poverty
• Crime
• Educational problems
• Dropping out of school
• Teenage pregnancy
• Incarceration as an adult

What Are the Benefits of Having a Father in The Home?

Fathers play an important role in their children’s lives. They provide financial support, emotional support, and role models.

Children who have involved and present fathers are more likely to be:

• Successful in school
• Have healthy relationships
• Be productive members of society

What Can Be Done to Help Children Who Are Growing up In Fatherless Homes?

There are a number of things that can be done to help children who are growing up in fatherless homes, including:

• Providing financial support to single mothers
• Offering counseling and support groups for children and families
• Creating programs that encourage fathers to be more involved in their children’s lives

What Can I Do if I Am a Fatherless Child?

If you are a fatherless child, there are a number of things that you can do to cope with the challenges of growing up without a father, including:

• Find a support group or counselor
• Talk to your friends and family about what you are going through
• Get involved in activities that you enjoy
• Set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them

What Can I Do if I Am a Father?

If you are a father, there are a number of things that you can do to be involved in your children’s lives, including:

• Spend time with your children
• Talk to them about their day
• Help them with their homework
• Take them to activities that they enjoy
• Be a role model for them

How Can Single Moms Mitigate the Issues Associated with The Lack of Father Involvement?

Single mothers are heroes who deserve to be praised for their bravery and courage in situations that aren’t ideal for them or their children.

However, single mothers can get help to avoid or prevent the issues that arise due to the fatherless home issue. 

First, be open and honest with your child or children about an absent father to help alleviate their concerns and worries.

Be approachable and listen to your children. You should also look into counseling and support groups for you and your children. 

Seek reliable and stable male role models to help mentor your children to provide them with the presence of a fatherly figure. 

Furthermore, when talking to your children, acknowledge any hurt feelings or anger because of the situation by letting them talk about it without judgment. 


The statistics on fatherless homes are sobering.

Children who grow up without their fathers are more likely to experience a variety of challenges, including poverty, crime, educational problems, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, and incarceration as an adult.

However, it is important to remember that not all fatherless homes are the same.

Some fatherless homes are stable and loving, while others are chaotic and unhealthy.

It is also important to remember that children are resilient and can overcome the challenges of growing up without a father.

If you are a fatherless child, there are resources available to help you. You can find support groups, counseling, and mentoring programs. 

There are also many organizations that are working to help fathers be more involved in their children’s lives.

If you are a father, it is important to be involved in your children’s lives. You can make a difference in their lives by providing them with love, support, and guidance.

Creating programs that encourage fathers to be more involved in their children’s lives

We all have a role to play in helping children who are growing up in fatherless homes. 

The above fatherless homes statistics for 2023 show us that by working together, we can make a difference in the lives of these children and help them reach their full potential.


All4KidsBlue Ridge CounselingFix Family Courts
Knowledge for MenLegal JobsMPA
National Center for FatheringNational Fatherhood InitiativeOJJDP
The Learning Dad BlogUKDiss.comUnited States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau 2019Washington Examiner
Written by Colin Tan
Colin Tan is a tech entrepreneur and business leader with extensive experience in the technology industry. He is the Co-Founder of several successful tech startups that provide innovative solutions to businesses. Colin has a passion for creating disruptive technologies that can transform industries and drive growth.