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California Has More Single Dads

by Daddy.com
​Data from the latest Census Bureau reports show that California has an unusually high number of single fathers living in metropolitan areas with populations of 300,000 or more.

According to 2011 statistics from the Census Bureau, just 15 percent of all single parents were men that year.  Out of the some 70 million total fathers in this country, about 1.7 million are single fathers The Census data also shows that certain California cities have unusually high numbers of single fathers when compared to the rest of the nation. Although the Census Bureau data only include the percentages from those metropolitan areas with populations of 300,000 or more, those urban areas have the largest proportion of family households headed by unmarried men raising their own children. However, exactly why a few specific cities in California have a larger number of single fathers is unknown.

Some sociologists who study U.S. families have suggested that California may have more single dads because of that state’s historically open divorce laws, and that those laws may have had the effect of creating an atmosphere where divorce is more acceptable overall. One researcher, Ron Haskins, from the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, agreed with that premise when he stated “California is a divorce state. It was one of the first to have no-fault divorce. It might have to do with lifestyle."

Although the distribution and spread of single dads is apparently not the exactly the same all over the country, one thing that all single fathers do seem to share regardless of where they live is a lack of financial wherewithal, and money problems are common among single dads across the nation. It is obviously more difficult to raise a family on one income than in households with two working parent. Even if a single fathers has a non-working partner present in the home, it can still help the financial situation because it can help reduce the amount of money spent on childcare. This becomes important when one considers that the poverty rate for all married-couple families, with or without children, is around 6 percent for the whole nation. The Census data reveals that even though the number of households headed by single dads living below the poverty line is alarmingly high at 19 percent, it is not nearly as bad as the nearly 38 percent of single-mother headed households currently living below the poverty line in the U.S.

The single moms have more financial challenges than single dads when it comes to living above the poverty line as well, with just 25 percent of single moms having an annual family income over $50,000 per year compared to the 38 percent of single fathers with family incomes over $50,000 per year. Both groups fall well below the numbers for married households making $50,000 or more per year, with almost 68 percent of couple-headed households making more than 50K annually.

In addition to the proven economic challenges that all single parent households must face, many social studies have also shown that many single-parent families produce troubled kids, regardless of who heads the household. As noted by the researchers at the Brookings Institution, a huge number of studies have shown that kids growing up in married-couple families do much better than children of divorced parents or kids who are raised in single-parent families. The rates for problems like dropping out of school, suicide, and teen pregnancy are definitely worse for the kids who grew up in single-parent families. The studies and data from the Census data do not suggest that single parents are worse parents than married couples, regardless of whether they are male or female, but it does show they have more obstacles to raising happy kids.

According to the Census Bureau data, the following are the U.S. cities that have the highest percentages of households with children that are headed by unmarried men:

Area - Number of Single Dad Households - Percentage of all Households

Visalia, California - 6,182 - 4.7%
Bakersfield, California - 10,669 - 4.2%
Fresno, California - 10,933 - 3.8%
Stockton, California - 8,096 - 3.8%
Modesto, California - 6,250 - 3.8%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California - 44,657 - 3.4%
Las Vegas, Nevada.- 24,269 - 3.4%
Albuquerque, New Mexico - 11,796 - 3.4%
Anchorage, Alaska - 4,575 - 3.3%
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Arizona - 48,661 - 3.2%
Salinas, California - 4,040 - 3.2%
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