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Single Dad State

 Data from the latest Census Bureau report shows that California has the highest number of single fathers than any other state in the Union.

According to statistics just released from the Census Bureau, just 15 percent of all single parents were men during 2011, but that 15 percent still equals about 1.7 million single fathers out of the 70 million total fathers in this country. The Census data also shows that specific cities in California have unusually high numbers of single fathers when compared to the rest of the nation. Although the Census Bureau data on single dads does not include the percentages from metropolitan areas with populations under 300,000, the larger urban areas have the largest numbers of family households headed by unmarried men raising their own children.

Exactly why certain cities in California have the largest number of single fathers is a subject of speculation as 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 helped create an atmosphere where divorce is more acceptable overall. Researcher Ron Haskins, from the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, agreed 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 the lifestyle."

Although the numbers of single dads are 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 cash and it is far more difficult to raise children on one income than in households with two working parents. This coincides with the poverty rate for all married-couple families, with or without children, that is currently about 6 percent across the nation. In contrast, the Census data showing that the number of households headed by single fathers living below the poverty line is much higher at 19 percent, it is not as bad as the 38 percent of single-mother households currently living below the poverty line in the U.S. today.

In addition to the economic challenges all single parent households face, many studies have also shown that single-parent families produce more troubled kids, regardless of who heads the household. As noted by researchers at the Brookings Institution, kids growing up in married-couple families do better than the children of divorced parents or kids who are raised in single-parent families, and the rates for problems like dropping out of school, suicide, and teen pregnancy are worse for kids growing up in single-parent families. Neither the studies nor the data from the Census Bureau suggest that single parents are worse parents than married couples regardless of whether they are male or female, but the data does suggest they face more obstacles to raising happy kids in today’s troubled economy.

Top Ten U.S. cities with the Most Single Fathers -

Listed by Area - Number of Single Father Households - Percentage of all Households

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