Father's Day 2003: ABS facts for features, Sep 2003

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September 5, 2003
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Father's Day 2003: ABS facts for features

To assist your coverage of Father's Day, the following selection of information has been drawn from a variety of Australian Bureau of Statistics sources.

Fathers and labour force
In June 2003, according to labour force statistics, an estimated 1,764,100 men were husbands or partners with children under 15 years.

At 93%, these men had the highest rate of labour force participation (that is, they were either working or looking for work) compared with men in different family situations.

Some 84% of husbands or partners with children under 15 years were employed full time and 6% were employed part time. Almost two-thirds of couple families with children under 15 consisted of the male partner working full-time and the female partner working part-time or not at all.

About 55,100 men were lone parents with children under 15 years. Of lone parents with children under 15 years, 11% were lone fathers.

Of the lone fathers, 50% were employed full-time and 10% were employed part-time. Some 31% were not in the labour force, that is, they were neither working nor looking for work.

Child care and work arrangements
Child care statistics for June 2002 showed that 30% of employed fathers of children aged under 12 years made use of family friendly work arrangements to care for their children. This has increased from 24% in 1993.

In 2002, these arrangements included flexible working hours (22%) and working at home (9%).

Time use statistics from 1997 showed that fathers spent an average 17 hours per week minding their children, sometimes alongside other activities, or undertaking other activities with their children such as playing or teaching.

Fathers of newborns
The age of men becoming fathers in Australia has increased over time. The median age of men who fathered a child registered in 2001 was 32 years, increasing from 30 years in 1981.

Most fathers of children born in 2001 were aged between 25-39 years (78%), while 11% were aged 40-49 years and 1% were aged 50 years and over.

The percentage of births where paternity was not acknowledged has fallen from 5% of all births in 1981 to 4% in 2001.