The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration, June 17, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
How Many Fathers?
Estimated number of fathers across the nation in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. Source: Wave 2 Fertility Topical Module from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation
Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2013.
–21 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18 (among married-couple family households only).
–3 percent were a subfamily living in someone else’s home.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013FG.html> Tables FG1 and FG3
Number of single fathers in 2013; 17 percent of single parents were men.
–9 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18.
–About 44 percent were divorced, 33 percent were never married, 19 percent were separated, and 4.2 percent were widowed.
–39 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements<http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013FG.html> Table FG6
Thinking of You, Dad
The number of men’s clothing stores around the country in 2011, a good place to buy dad a tie or shirt. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS code (44811), <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>
The number of hardware stores in 2011, a place to buy hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts. Additionally, there were 6,705 home centers across the country in 2011. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS codes (444130) and (444110), <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>
Number of sporting goods stores in 2011. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad, such as fishing rods and golf clubs. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS code (451110), <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>
The number of Americans who participated in a barbecue in 2010. It’s probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father’s Day. Source: GFK Mediamark Research and Intelligence as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, Table 1240. <http://www.gfkmri.com><http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab>
Stay at Home Dads
Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2013. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wife works outside the home. These fathers cared for about 434,000 children.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements<http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/families.html> Table SHP-1
In spring 2011, the percentage of preschoolers regularly cared for by their father during their mother’s working hours. Source: Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011
Amount of child support received by custodial fathers in 2011; they were due $3.7 billion. In contrast, custodial mothers received $19.5 billion of the $31.7 billion in support that was due. Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2011 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-246.pdf> Pages 11 and 12
Percentage of custodial fathers who received all child support that was due in 2011, not significantly different from the corresponding percentage for custodial mothers, 43.6 percent. Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2011 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-246.pdf> Page 3, table 1
Percentage of custodial fathers receiving noncash support, such as gifts or coverage of expenses, on behalf of their children. The corresponding proportion for mothers was 55.0 percent. Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2011<https://www.census.gov/people/childsupport/data/files/chldsu11.pdf> Table 10
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February) Back to School (August)
Super Bowl Labor Day
Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Grandparents Day
Women’s History Month (March) Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/ Unmarried and Single Americans Week
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) Halloween (Oct. 31)
Earth Day (April 22) American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May) (November)
Older Americans Month (May) Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Cinco de Mayo (May 5) Thanksgiving Day
Mother’s Day The Holiday Season (December)
Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)