Father's Day 2002: ABS facts for features, Aug 2002

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August 30, 2002
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Father's Day 2002: 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.

Age of Fathers
The age of men becoming fathers in Australia has increased over time. The median age of men who fathered a child registered in 2000 was 32 years, increasing from 29 years in 1980.

Most fathers of children born in 2000 were aged between 25-39 years (78%), while 10% were aged 40-49 years and 1% were aged 50 years and over.

Family structure
The majority (60%) of males aged 40 years and over who fathered a baby registered in 2000 already had one or more children in their current relationship.

The remaining 40% did not have any previous children from their current relationship. These fathers may have delayed parenthood or could be starting a new family with a different partner.

The percentage of ex-nuptial births (births outside registered marriage) where paternity was not acknowledged has fallen from 5% of all births in 1980 to 3% in 2000.

Labour force
In June 2002, according to labour force statistics, an estimated 1,750,000 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 83% of husbands or partners with children under 15 years were employed full time and 6% were employed part time.

About 59,400 men were lone parents with children under 15 years. Of these fathers, 49% were employed full time and 13% were employed part time. Some 30% 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 1999 showed that 27% of employed fathers of children aged under 12 years made use of family friendly work arrangements to care for their children.

These arrangements included flexible working hours (18%) and working at home (7%).

Time use statistics from 1997 showed that fathers spent an average 35 hours per week minding their children, sometimes alongside other activities, or undertaking other activities with their children such as playing or teaching.