Celebrating Dad: Fun Facts and Figures
Here's a little Father's Day history from a self-proclaimed daddy's girl.
My grandparents often tell me that my dad just couldn’t stop smiling on the day I was born.
I was my parents’ much-desired first child. Labor and delivery was rough, and I know that when I finally, finally, arrived (all 10 pounds of me) I looked a little less than perfect.
That didn’t stop my dad from proclaiming to everyone within the hospital waiting room that I was going to be a supermodel … or possibly a movie star.
If you’re reading this, you know I didn’t grow up to be a supermodel (or a movie star). I’m the editor for this site. But really, is there a dad out there who doesn’t think his little girl is the most beautiful in the world?
Dads are special people.
So in honor of Father’s Day on Sunday, here are some dad-centric facts and figures sure to impress the big guy in your life. Feel free to add your own special Father’s Day experiences in the comment section below.
When did Father’s Day Begin?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a Mother’s Day sermon sparked the idea of Father’s Day. In 1909, Sonora Dodd was listening to the radio sermon in Spokane, WA, and thought there should be a special day to honor her dad. An injured Civil War veteran, William Smart raised six children on his own after becoming a widow.
The next year, Spokane’s mayor proclaimed Father’s Day would be celebrated in June, the month of Smart’s birth.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. The day has been celebrated annually since 1972, which is when President Richard Nixon signed a public law that made the Father’s Day date permanent.
How Many Fathers? (All figures below are from the U.S. Census Bureau)
- 70.1 million: estimated number of fathers across the nation.
- 24.7 million: number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2011.
- 1.7 million: number of single fathers in 2011; 15 percent of single parents were men.
Places Dad Likes to Shop
- 1,708: number of men’s clothing stores in the country as of 2009.
- 15,734: number of hardware stores (as of 2009) where you can buy hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts. There were 6,897 home centers across the country in 2008.
- 22,628: number of sporting goods stores as of 2009 where you can purchase those fishing rods and golf clubs that Dad so enjoys.
- 79.1 million: number of Americans who participated in a barbecue in the past year -- probably with Dad at the grill on Father’s Day.
Call Him Mr. Mom
- 176,000: estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2011.
Daddy and Me
- 53 percent: number of children younger than 6 who ate breakfast with their father every day in 2006. 58 percent ate with their mother.
- 71 percent: number of children younger than 6 who ate dinner with their father every day in 2006. 80 percent had dinner with their mother.
- 36 percent: number of children younger than 6 who had 15 or more outings with their father in the past month, as of 2006.
- 6: average number of times children ages 3 to 5 whose father read to them in the past week, since 2006.
- 66 percent: number of times children younger than 6 had their father praise them three or more times a day, since 2006.
- 0: cost of telling your dad you love him.
To my own Dad -- Thank you. For teaching me how to drive. For giving me advice. For telling me I was pretty.
You are appreciated.
Happy Father’s Day!