Fatherlessness In Arizona

Jack Brewer,  August 25, 2022

Fatherhood is foundational to strong families, and strong families are essential to a strong nation. An absent father affects all aspects of a child’s life, from socio-cognitive and socio-emotional development to academic performance and criminality. Unfortunately, the effects of fatherlessness are visible in the state of Arizona.

Fatherlessness in the united States

  • Approximately 18.4 million children in the United States live without a biological father, stepfather, or adoptive father present in the home.
  • 23% of children in the United States are raised by a single parent. This is more than three times the world average (7%) of children raised by a single parent, and the highest rate of any country on Earth.
  • Approximately 41% of children are born to unwed mothers. For women under age 30, the unwed birth rate increases to 53%.
  • Fathers are absent in approximately 80% of single-parent homes.
  • Fatherless children are more likely to suffer from psychosocial development issues, live in poverty, drop out of school, engage in school violence, abuse substances, and enter the juvenile justice system.

Fatherhood and family in arizona

  • 36,000 births per year are to unwed mothers. This is equal to approximately 45% of all annual births in Arizona.
  • Approximately 574,000 Arizona children, or 37% of all children in the state, live in single-parent households.
  • This includes approximately 313,000 Hispanic children, 45,000 Black children, 61,000 Native American children, and 152,000 white children.


  • 868 of every 100,000 people in Arizona are incarcerated, compared to an incarceration rate of 664 per 100,000 in the United States as a whole.
  • Arizona spends more than $1 billion on its prison system every year, and the prison population in Arizona has grown by 60% since 2000 alone. This is nearly double the rate of general population growth.
  • 1 in 13 Arizonans — or 357,000 people — has a current or prior felony conviction.


  • Arizona ranks 38th among all 50 states for educational attainment, and 48th for school quality. It also ranks 47th in a study of the most educated states.
  • Arizona has the 48th highest spending per pupil of any state in the country, the 49th lowest graduation rate, and the highest number of students per teacher.

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