While most stay-at-home parents are mothers, fathers represent a growing share of all at-home parents – 16% in 2012, up from 10% in 1989. Roughly a quarter of these stay-at-home fathers (23%) report that they are home mainly because they cannot find a job. Nearly as many (21%) say the main reason they are home is to care for their home or family. This represents a fourfold increase from 1989, when only 5% of stay-at-home fathers said they were home primarily to care for family.
Still, the largest share of stay-at-home fathers (35%) is at home due to illness or disability. This is in sharp contrast to stay-at-home mothers, most of whom (73%) report that they are home specifically to care for their home or family4; just 11% are home due to their own illness or disability.