About 72% of men in America with a high school degree or less are fathers by age 30. But in 2008, only 20% of low-educated men had a regular full-time job. Learn more about the factors that make being a young father in America difficult and how public policy can help.
“Young Dads and Disadvantage,” released in February 2014, was prepared by intern Dan Simon with guidance from IRP editor Deborah Johnson, relying on research by IRP affiliates and other sources. Especially helpful were Lawrence Berger’s 2012 IRP webinar “Disadvantaged Men as Fathers”; “Young Disadvantaged Men: Fathers, Families, Poverty, Policy: An Introduction to the Issues” in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 635, by Timothy Smeeding, Irwin Garfinkel, and Ronald Mincy; and “The Life Circumstances of African American Fathers with Children on W-2: An Ethnographic Inquiry” Focus 22(2) by IRP affiliate David J. Pate Jr. Special thanks to Lawrence Berger for reviewing this fact sheet and providing helpful suggestions.