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Father’s Day by the Numbers

SATURDAY, JUN 17, 2017

The third Sunday of June is reserved for fathers to fire up the barbecue, geek out on puns, and celebrate Father’s Day. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are 72.2 million fathers in the country, so that’s plenty of dad jokes.

While Father’s Day became an official holiday in the US in 1972, it’s been celebrated around the world since the Middle Ages, long before it was brought to the US by the Spanish and Portuguese. Here at Social Explorer, we take a closer look at Father’s Day. We set out to measure and visualize the holiday and the dad population. We even tackle the question of whether moms get more gifts.

Just how big is Father’s Day?

After 45 years, has Father's Day grown in popularity? According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Father’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics, 77.2 percent of poll participants said they are celebrating the Father’s day this year, which is consistent with the numbers reported for previous years. 

How much money are we spending on Father’s day?

While popularity hasn’t changed much recently, there is something different this year. Spending for Father’s day in the United States alone is expected to reach a record-high $12.7 billion, and according to the latest National Retail Federation survey, the average person will spend $115.57 on gifts. If you’re not sure what to get this year, check out what Americans bought for Father’s Day last year.



Father’s day seems to be most popular among adults between 25 and 34, and least popular among people older than 65. The 25-34 age group also planned to spend the most money on average.





Moms vs. Dads

While the amount of money spent on Father’s Day has been on a steady rise, it still has a lot of catching up to do when compared with spending on Mother’s Day. How much do you think we spent on Father’s Day compared to Mother’s day? Draw your guess in our interactive map and click for the answer.



The Changing Socioeconomics of Parenting

The number of stay-at-home dads is on a quiet, but steady rise. In fact, it has doubled since the 1970s, and the chart below illustrates the upward trajectory.



Reasons Dads Stay at Home

Let’s take a closer look at this trend and see why dads are staying at home. According to the Pew Research Center, the most common reasons dads stay at home are still illness and unemployment, but the number of dads choosing staying at home to care for the family more than quadrupled between 1989 and 2012 (five percent to 21 percent).


Social Explorer wants to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the single dads, stay-at-home dads, working dads and all the other dads out there. If you're still looking for the perfect Father's Day gift, consider giving him a subscription to

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