Numbering 2 million in 2012, men now represent 16% of stay-at-home parents — up from 10% in 1989.
Driving this growth is a surge in the number of men who are staying home purely because they want to care for their children. The number of dads in this camp has quadrupled from 5% in 1989 to 21% in 2012.
But not all dads stay home by choice. In fact, the majority have fallen into this role because they can’t find a job or are dealing with a health issue.
In 2012, 23% of dads said they stay at home because they are unable to find work — up from 15% in 1989. And the biggest share, or 35%, say they are in this situation because they are ill or disabled — a percentage that is down significantly from 56% in 1989.
Stay-at-home dads are twice as likely to lack a high school diploma as a working dad, and nearly half of at-home dads live in poverty (often because they don’t have a working spouse) — versus only 8% of working fathers.