More Moms and Dads Are Opting to Be Stay-at-Home Parents

The number of stay-at-home parents is close to what it was nearly 30 years ago, with more full-time dads than ever before.
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By Stephanie Grassullo, Associate Editor
Published September 25, 2018
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Despite a few variations, the number of stay-at-home parents is similar to what it was nearly 30 years ago, according to the findings from new data released by the Pew Research Center.

More than 11 million parents in the U.S. were not working outside the home in 2016, with the number almost identical to what it was in 1989. And compared to Gen X parents, there are 4 percent more Millennial moms and dads opting to stay home.

Most notable was the increase among full-time fathers. Interestingly enough, the number of stay-at-home dads jumped from 4 percent in 1989 to 7 percent in 2016. The amount of moms staying home remained nearly unchanged, with 28 percent of moms home in 1989 and only a slight drop to 27 percent in 2016.

While the recession in the early 2000s played a part, with one-third of fathers citing they were home in 2010 because they were out of jobs, this doesn’t account for the current group of dads who are hanging up their suits to stay home with the kids.

“The modest increase is apparent even after excluding those who were home due to unemployment. Furthermore, a growing share of stay-at-home fathers say they are home specifically to care for their home or family, suggesting that changing gender roles may be at play,” the study explains.

The data acknowledges the shift of parents taking on full-time roles at home. While the number of stay-at-home moms remains steady, couples have been changing up the gender roles more than ever, with an uptick of dads also spending their days at home.

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