NEW YORK — The number of U.S. fathers home with their kids full-time is down, from a peak 2.2 million in 2010, the official end of the recession, to about 2 million in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
The slight decrease in their ranks from 2010 to 2012 was driven chiefly by employment gains since the recession eased, the report said, defining stay-at-home fathers as those not employed for pay at all in the prior year and living with children 17 or younger.
The largest share of at-home dads, 35 percent, said they were home due to illness or disability. Roughly 23 percent said it was mainly because they couldn't find a job, and 21 percent said it was specifically to care for home or family, the researchers noted, relying on census and other government data.
By contrast, 1.1 million men were at-home dads in 1989, the earliest year reliable government figures are available for the sector.