Fatherlessness In Texas

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 Texas.

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.


  • In 2019, nearly  2.5 million children, or 35% of all children in Texas, lived in a single-parent home.
    • This number included equates to nearly 1.4 million Hispanic or Latino children (40% of all Hispanic or Latino children in Texas), 490,000 Black children (60% of all Black children in Texas), and 495,000 white children (23% of all white children in Texas).
  • In 2020, unmarried women gave birth to 155,363 children, or 42% of all births.
  • Nearly 1.4 million children in Texas have one or more emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions.
  • 22,641 children were born to teenage mothers in Texas in 2020, for a rate of 22 teen births per 1,000.
  • Approximately 204,000 female-headed households, or 28% of all female-headed households in Texas, receive child support.


  • Approximately 494,521 children in Texas have a parent who was incarcerated. This includes 181,292 Hispanic or Latino children and 177,901 white children.


  • Approximately 434,000 Texas youths ages 16 to 24 are not working or attending school, for 12% of all Texas youth and young adults.
  • 25% of Hispanic children, 23% of Black children, and 12% of white children who attend public high school in Texas do not complete their education.

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