Morristown, NJ

Reliance on Working Dads, A State by State Analysis

Morristown Minute

In 1960, 75% of families relied on a single source of income, today 69.3% of married mothers work, and more families rely on dual incomes to get by. Below, WalletHub’s determination of the best states for working dads.

*Updated 6/22 with Title Change

In the 1960s, 75% of American families relied on a single source of income, overwhelmingly coming from the paternal leader of the household, i.e. the breadwinner.

Today, nearly 70% of married mothers work, and families increasingly rely on two forms of income as both mothers and fathers head back to work – 93.5% of married fathers work, but the gap between working mothers and fathers is closing.

These changes towards a reliance on two incomes and a split in parental duties have been fueled by the global pandemic, making work from home more common and placing parents in a position where work and childrearing happen simultaneously.

However, not all parents, or specifically working dads, have the same opportunities to work from home, and state-by-state quality of life changes, drastically altering how parents work to survive and raise their children.

In order to determine the best states for fathers who take on a dual role of parent and provider (sole or dual provider), WalletHub compared the 50 states and D.C. across 23 indicators of friendliness towards working fathers.

The data ranges from the average length of the work day to child-care costs to the state of men’s health in the region.


Source: WalletHub

Child-Care Costs (adjusted for median family income)

Lowest Costs:

  1. Mississippi
  2. South Dakota
  3. Missouri
  4. South Carolina
  5. Illinois

Highest Cost

  1. Nebraska
  2. Nevada
  3. New Mexico
  4. California
  5. Washington

The rankings were calculated through several measures including:

Economic & Social Well-Being – factoring median family income, the share of working men living with economic security, unemployment rates for dads with kids ages 0 to 17, the share of kids 0 to 17 living in poverty, and the average freshman graduation rate for men.

Work-Life Balance – factoring best states to work from home, parental-leave policy score, average time spent on child care for men, the average length of the work day for men, and average commute time for men.

Child Care – factoring in day-care quality, child-care costs, pediatricians per capita, quality of state school system, the share of nationally accredited child care centers, and the number of childcare workers per child under age 14.

Health – male uninsured rate, men’s life expectancy, male suicide rate, male mental health, the share of men in good or better health, the share of physically active men, unaffordability of doctor’s visits


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