Key facts and figures

Who are fathers?

Just under two thirds of men, 64%, have fathered a child biologically or played a father role to a child.

11% of men aged 70 and over have never fathered a child or played a fathering role to a child.

Non-resident fathers

Five per cent of fathers in the UK report having dependent non-resident children. This equates to 980,000 men.

Only three in 10 fathers, 29%, who live apart from their child are currently living with other children, the rest do not live with any children.

Non-resident fathers form a diverse cross-section of men. However when controlling for other factors, they are more likely to be economically disadvantaged, belong to particular ethnic groups or have been married or cohabited multiple times compared with other fathers.

The vast majority (87%) of fathers who don’t live with their children continue to have contact with them, and close to half (49%) say that their children stay with them regularly on weekends and during school holidays.

Only 13% of fathers have no contact with their children if they don’t live with them.

Most non-resident fathers (81%) report a close relationship with their non-resident children.

Non-resident fathers who also have resident children are less likely to report a close relationship with their non-resident children (69%) than non-resident fathers who live alone (85%).

Lone Fathers

Only 1% of men over 16 years old are lone fathers, that is, they live with dependent children and without a partner.

Lone fathers are different from fathers in couples: they are older, have fewer children, who are older and they are less economically secure.