As I explained in Black Fathers [Don’t] Matter, the official data on intact families is problematic because both HHS and the US Census are all too eager to count any man mom is shacking up with as the father. Because of this, official data is overstating the percentage of children of all races who are growing up with both their mother and their father. Even when fudging the numbers however, a disturbingly small percentage of Black children live with both parents. I thought I would share what I was able to find with a bit of searching, with the caveat that not all “fathers” counted in the official data are fathers by any reasonable stretch of the term.
The US Census has time series data broken out by race, including this chart:
I’ve also previously shared a snapshot of custody by race for 2012:
However, in addition to counting non existent fathers, the data above also averages children of all ages. As a result it doesn’t tell us what percent of adolescents still have dad in the home. With a bit more digging I found Census data from 2006 which breaks living arrangement data down by race and age. Since this data also comes from the US Census, the problem of identifying random men passing through mom’s bedroom as “dad” likely impacts this data set as well.