August 25, 2022
Center for Opportunity Now
Fatherlessness In Mississippi
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—and unfortunately, the effects of fatherlessness are visible in the state of Mississippi.
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 mississippi
- 56% of Mississippi babies are born to unwed mothers, totaling 19,792 births per year.
- 294,000 children live in single-parent households, representing 46% of all Mississippi children.
- This includes approximately 184,000 Black children (70% of all Black children in the state) and 86,000 white children (27% of all white children in the state).
- According to a 2022 fatherlessness report by State Auditor Shad White, nearly 2,000 fatherless young women gave birth in 2019, costing the Mississippi taxpayer more than $50 million dollars in that year alone.
CRIME IN mississippi
- According to State Auditor Shad White, nearly 9,800 men in Mississippi’s prisons most likely come from fatherless homes. This represents approximately 50% of Mississippi’s total prison population.
- By this estimation, fatherless male prisoners cost the Mississippi taxpayer approximately $180 million in 2020 alone.
- Mississippi has an incarceration rate of 1,031 per 100,000 people (including prisons, jails, immigration detention, and juvenile justice facilities), compared to 664 per 100,000 for the United States as a whole.
EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES IN MISSISSIPPI
- 68% of Mississippi fourth graders scored “below proficient” in reading for their class level.
- 76% of Mississippi eighth graders scored “below proficient” in mathematics for their class level.
- 26% of Mississippi fourth graders are considered “chronically absent” from school.
- According to State Auditor Shad White, Mississippi taxpayers will lose approximately $560 million attributable to fatherless students who dropped out of school in the 2021-2022 academic year alone.
THE TOTAL COST OF FATHERLESSNESS IN MISSISSIPPI
- According to State Auditor Shad White, the effects of fatherlessness cost Mississippi taxpayers approximately $700 million each year due to increased incarceration rates, increased education costs, and other significant drivers of taxpayer spending.