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Family life often revolves around children, and children are the ones who benefit most from a stable family life. Here are some facts and statistics about the changing landscape of childrearing in the USA:

Statistic #1:
More involved fathers

Fathers are now the primary caregiver for about 1 in 4 preschool-age kids, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Statistic #2:
Children being raised by grandparents

The latest data shows that around 2.9 million children are being raised primarily by their grandparents, up 16% from the year 2000, with a 6% surge between 2007 and 2008. (Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data)

Statistic #3:
Quality time with kids

How often parents report spending quality time with their children, based on a USA Today poll:

1. Every day: 27%

2. Every few days: 24%

3. Every week: 28%

4. Every month: 12%

5. A few times a year or not at all: 9% (USA Today, 1-20-2011, p. 1A)

In another recent survey, however, nearly 75% of parents said that watching TV with their kids is how they spend family time together. (Kaufman, 2011) We’ll let you make your own judgments about whether watching TV qualifies as “quality time.”

Statistic #4:
U.S. fertility rates

The U.S. fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman, which is about exactly the replacement rate for the population. This fertility rate is below the developing world’s 2.8 and above the developed world’s rate of 1.6. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008) The average American woman now has her first child at age 25 or older. (Pelusi, 2008)

Statistic #5:
The toll that parenting takes

Adults with children are far more likely to experience depression and unhappiness than those without kids. (Sandler, 2011)

Statistic #6:
Firstborn kids get more parenting time

Recent research published by Joseph Price, Ph.D., finds that firstborn children spend an average of 3,000 more hours with their parents, or roughly an hour per day. They also get 65% more book time with Dad and 41% more with Mom. (Wilson, 2010) The good news for younger siblings: they learn an awful lot from having an older brother or sister around.

Statistic #7:
Home-schooled children

About 2 million children home school, and contrary to popular beliefs, only 30% of these parents cite “religious and moral” reasons for doing so. (Sandler, 2011)

Statistic #8:
Children attending private school

About 14% of kids, or a total of 6.4 million, attend private schools. (Gibbs, 2007)

Statistic #9:
Granny day care

Around 30% of preschoolers are cared for by grandparents while their mothers work. (Painter, 1-5-2009)

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