Fast Facts About Canadian Fathers

Monday Jun 7, 2010

 FACT: Canadian fathers of young children are doing more child care duty than they were 30 years ago

 Hours per day spent on direct child care by fathers with at least one child under the age of )

1986: 1  2005  1.6

Percentage of fathers of preschoolers* reporting daily participation in child care

1986 57%  2005 73%

Percentage of all stay-home parents who are fathers

1984  3%   2008  10%

In spite of these increases...

FACT: Fathers still spend less time on child care and other unpaid work than mothers.

                                         Dads     Moms 

Direct Child Care               1.3         1.9

Other Unpaid Work            2.4         3.1

(Above figures are average hours per day spent on paid and unpaid work by married fathers and mothers aged 25 -44, who have at least one child under 19 and  are employed full-time. For more information, see About These Statistics below)

 Why are fathers still spending less time on child care than mothers?

FACT: Fathers devote more time to paid work than mothers do (including commuting)

                                        Dads      Moms

Paid Work                         6.6        5.0

FACT: If we combine paid and unpaid work, fathers' and mothers' workday are almost identical in length.

                                         Dads      Moms

Parent workday                 10.4       10.5

FACT: More fathers are taking paternity leave and missing work for family reasons

Percentage of eligible Canadian fathers taking paternity leave

2001 - 3%   2007 - 27%

Quebec 2007 - 56%   Rest of  Canada  2007 - 10%

(Quebec is the only province with "Daddy Days"  - five weeks of parental leave which can only be taken by the father)

Average number of workdays missed by fathers for personal or family reasons

1997 - 1.8   2007 - 6.3

FACT - Increasing numbers of fathers make less money than their partner

Percentage of Canadian men in dual-earner couples who earn less than their spouse

1970 - 15%  2003 - 29%

FACT: Fathers are better educated and more likely to work full-time than childless men

Percentage of Men with university education

Fathers 29%   Non- Fathers 19%

Percentage of men working full-time

Fathers 90%   Non-Fathers 63%

 FACT: Four out of five Canadian fathers are married

Marital Status of Canadian Fathers

Married 79%  Common-law 16%  Single parent 6%

FACT: The Average age at which Canadian men become fathers is 32 years

(above figure applies to men born between 1966 and 1970)

 About These Statistics

The statistics on time-use presented here may differ from statistics used elsewhere, including articles by Statistics Canada. Some statistics merely look at differences between women and men and some look at broad age group - 15 - 64. Moreover, many statistics you will find elsewhere compare fathers' and mothers' time spent on childcare, without taking account the key factor that fathers spend more time on paid work than mothers, even in families where both parents work "full-time."  Some parent time-use data also includes non-custodial separated and divorced fathers, who, obviously, cannot devote as much time to child care as parents who reside with their children full-time.This statistics on this page, which  were specially prepared for FIRA by Statistics Canada and look at so-called "intact" families where both parents work full-time and are aged 25- 44, which is the age group in which most direct child care takes place.  We think this provides the fairest and most reasonable comparison of mothers' and fathers' time spent on paid and unpaid work.