Fatherlessness In Arizona

August 25, 2022

By Jack Brewer

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.
  • 63% of youth suicide victims, 90% of all homeless and runaway children, 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutes, 85% of youths in prisons, and 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes.

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.