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Number of single dads on the rise, Census says

The 2010 Census has revealed some interesting tidbits about our evolving population. Divorces are apparently on the decline. One upward trend, however, is the number of single dads in this country.

Even before Murphy Brown came along, what defines an American family has been changing. According to new Census statistics, there are 17,301 households countywide that are headed by single fathers. That's way up from just under 12,000 at the time of the last Census in 2000.

According to sources, there's also been an uptick of fathers who receive child support from ex-wives. There are also more fathers who have primary custody of their children than in years past.

The change seems to reflect an evolving attitude of Americans when it comes to traditional parenting and what makes up a family. Several child psychologists think people used to question whether a father could raise a child alone, but that is no longer the prevailing belief.

There are also more working moms than there were ten years ago, contributing to the idea of a role reversal of sorts. According to sources, some men are attempting to prove they are capable parents, and one way to do that is to work from home to maximize family time.

Women are still two to three times more likely than men to be the head of single-parent households. However, that number is clearly dwindling. It will be interesting to see what the numbers show when the 2020 Census is conducted. Will single dads continue to be more common?

Source: Star Telegram, "Number of single dads gradually rising," Yamil Berard, 28 May 2011

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