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Many Children Have Parents Who Work Nonstandard Schedules

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The image of evenings and weekends as shared family time may not be realistic for many parents and their children.

Forty-three percent of children in the United States live with a parent who works outside the typical Monday through Friday, daytime hours.

Half of all children who live with two parents have a parent who works a nonstandard schedule.  Among children who live with two working parents, 18 percent have a mom who works a nonstandard schedule and a dad who works standard hours. Almost 1 in 4 have a father who works a nonstandard schedule (while their mother works a standard schedule). Another 18 percent live with two parents who both work nonstandard schedules.

Single parents also work untraditional hours. Thirty percent of children living with only their mother and 37 percent of children living with only their father have a parent working a nonstandard schedule.

These data come from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation, which collects detailed information about U.S. families’ economic well-being. For more information about families with a parent working nonstandard hours, see this Census Bureau working paper on the same topic.

Brian Knop is a Family Demographer in the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics branch.

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Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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