5 takeaways:

More dads stay at home, care for children

More dads stay at home, care for children
This is the way we want things to be: A growing number of dads stay home and raise children. Although stay-at-home fathers make up a small but increasing segment of the population, they still face financial and social obstacles, according to a recent report.

     Many struggle with illness or disability. Others face financial difficulties. And side-by-side with the news that more fathers are staying home, there is this: "About 16 percent of fathers with young children lived apart from all of their children," according to the Pew Research Center.
     Here are five takeaways from the Pew report, “Growing Number of Dads Home with the Kids.”   

     More Mr. Moms in the neighborhood.
     As of 2012, roughly 2 million fathers with children younger than 18 said they did not work outside the home. This is nearly double the 1.1 million at-home dads in 1989. Consider that 16 percent of stay-at-home parents in 2012 were men. In 1989, 10 percent were men.         

     Some dads don’t have a choice.
     Rising unemployment during the Great Recession contributed to the number of stay-at-home dads, according to the Pew report. Indeed, in 2010, just after the recession officially ended, the number of at-home dads spiked to 2.2 million. A quarter of all stay-at-home fathers, 23 percent, say they cannot find a job, according to Pew. But nearly the same number, 21 percent, say the primary reason they are home is to care for their children.

     The family takes a financial hit.
     Only 10 percent of working fathers lack a high school diploma. Comparatively, 22 percent of stay-at-home dads lack a diploma. Almost half, 47 percent, live in poverty, while only 8 percent of working fathers live in poverty. At-home mothers are less likely to struggle financially: 34 percent live in poverty.          

     More stay-at-home dads are ill or disabled.
     Indeed, 35 percent of stay-at-home dads are ill or disabled, compared with 11 percent of stay-at-home mothers. Stay-at-home dads tend to be older: 43 percent of stay-at-home dads are over age 45, while 21 percent of stay-at-home mothers are over 45.  

     Public support? Not so much.
     Stay-at-home moms feel the love. More than half of respondents,51 percent,said children are better off if the mother stays home and doesn't hold a job, according to a 2013 Pew Research Survey. Only 8 percent said children are better off if the dad doesn’t hold a job. A third of respondents, 34 percent, said children are just as well off if the mother works. A whopping 76 percent said the same about fathers who work, according to Pew.

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