23 of the Coolest, Quirkiest Father’s Day Stats
Fathers are awesome. The entire concept of nature providing a gatekeeper who instructs, protects, directs, and loves you is a stroke of genius. The fact that many dads are also willing to battle zombies, soccer coaches, bullies, and morning traffic to keep us safe is also quite cool.
For the 76 percent of Americans who plan to celebrate Father’s Day, finding the best way to represent your undying love and appreciation by presenting him with a gift on the third Sunday in June can be a challenge.
I am one of millions of daughters who will have to come up with a gift idea far cooler than a new tie to go with my dad’s suits. Coincidentally, my dad doesn’t wear suits and if I stuck to buying ties, he would have 40 ties for the same two suits - one tan and one gray. Multiply that by 5 kids, and 11 grands and…
Too many ties.
While we have a few days before we demonstrate our love with a new fishing pole, a riding mower, or a road trip to South Beach (my dad’s a pretty good-looking guy), let’s all take a quick breather from our Groupon frenzies and set aside a few minutes to be inspired, amused and educated about fathers and Father’s Day.
No lame turn-of-the-century biographies or black and white photos. No mind-numbing stats that you stop paying attention to after the first few. Just awesomesauce and funky, dad-goodness.
Here’s how babies get to name their own fathers
Two years in Mrs. Willie Bell Gibson’s English class taught me that in order to understand a word, I must know the etymology of the word. So, I looked up the word “dad.” Most of us can see how the word “father” looks a lot like the word “pater” - noun from Old English “paeder” which refers to a man in relation to his natural child or children - which was made famous by British Pop group Simply Red in the song “Holding Back the Years” (46 seconds in).
As it turns out, the words “dad” and “father” are completely unrelated. The word “dad” is believed to be adapted for use by fathers based on the first sounds a baby makes when she begins vocalizing front-of-the-mouth, consonant sounds. Dad is a remix of the sound “daaa” or “dada”. Pretty clever move, Dad.
Almost half the men in the US are fathers, and more of those fathers are staying home with the kids
About 46 percent of American men (18 years and older) are fathers. According to census numbers, there are 70.1 million fathers in the U.S. and about 152 million men. Nearly 25 million fathers are part of married-couple families while 2 million fathers were single fathers. (Fatherhood.gov)
Six guys were on the SAHD list in the 1970s
There are 214,000 married fathers with children under the age of 15 who are dads staying home primarily to take care of their kids while their wives work. The Huffington Post had an interesting piece about stay-at-home dads. Do you know that in the 1970s, only six men - SIX - identified as stay-at-home fathers? One, two, three, four, five, six guys.
Dads don’t really want ties for Father’s Day, yet...
Let’s just go right to it. A necktie is the most popular Father’s Day gift, not the most desired, just the most popular. Truth bomb: Your father probably isn’t looking forward to another tie. In fact, only 19 percent of dads want any clothing or apparel at all for Father’s Day.
Another quick tip: Just in general, an e-card is not the answer to any Father’s Day question.
The ages of the most recent youngest and the oldest dads will amaze - and maybe terrify - you
Eleven years old. That’s how old one British boy was when he impregnated his 15 year-old next door neighbor. Their baby boy was born one month after the father’s 12th birthday in 1998. I am intentionally refraining from listing their names, but I grabbed the headline for that story from Daily Mail.
The oldest first-time father, Ramit Raghav, was 94 when his baby boy was born to him and his then-52 year-old wife in October 2010 in Haryana, India.
Most dads bring home the bacon. Literally
More than half of the fathers polled say they are the primary grocery shoppers in their household. There are a handful of things to know about Dads who who shop:
- Dads research products they buy more than moms. About 11 percent of moms research products compared to 24 percent of dads.
- Men will spend more for products if they are of better quality.
- While Dad may be okay with researching products, men are not generally coupon clippers. And they are most definitely not extreme couponers.
Millennials are probably going to spend the most money per person on their dads again this year
In 2014, Millennials between the ages of 18 to 34 spent the most money per person on Father’s Day gifts, shelling out anywhere from around $134 to $162 for a Father’s Day gift.
In 2015, Millennials spent even more, having each purchase come in at $160 to $165.
Old school TV dads are more popular than these young whipper snapper TV dads
I found two surveys - one by TiVo, the other I found at Ranker.com - which sought to answer one critical questions: Which TV dad do you wish was your own?
While the lists contained essentially the same fictional characters, the order of the lists differed. Ranker.com calculated results based on more than 50,000 votes from 4,000+ voters. It looks like the list is clearly skewed toward Gen Xers. I want to share with you the top 15 answers, in no particular order:
- Sheriff Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show)
- Pa Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)
- Howard Cunningham (Happy Days)
- Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver)
- Jim Anderson (Father Knows Best)
- Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch)
- Tim Taylor (Home Improvement)
- Reverend Eric Camden (7th Heaven)
- Danny Tanner (Full House)
- Philip Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
- Peter Griffin (Family Guy)
- Dan Conner (Roseanne)
- Gomez Addams (The Addams Family)
- Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
I will be honest here. I have never seen Father Knows Best as I had a very strong aversion to watching TV shows that were in black and white when I was growing up. Except awesome Japanese action shows like Godzilla. My favorite TV dad, Martin Crane (Frasier), played by the late John Mahoney, just missed the list.
Almost a third of Americans shop online for Father’s Day gifts
Come on, Groupon deals! Daddy needs a new pair of... ?? (That’s the part many of us are still trying to figure out.)
While 39.9 percent of Father’s Day shoppers will still head to department stores to pick up their gifts, the next best place is the Internet, with almost 34 percent of shoppers buying their gifts online, followed by discount stores (27 percent), specialty store (24 percent) and local small businesses (17 percent)..
Are we obligated to buy Father’s Day gifts for all the men close to us who are fathers?
No. Not at all. In fact, 52 percent of Father’s Day beneficiaries were fathers and stepfathers. The other 48 percent of Father’s Day purchases were split between gifts from wives to husbands, parents to sons, siblings to brothers, and grandkids to grandfathers.
The outdoors type, a tech dad, the home organizer: How does your dad self-identify?
A good way to figure out what to get your dad may be finding out how he self-identifies. A quarter of dads consider themselves outdoor adventurers. Twenty-four percent think of themselves as either modern, fashionable, or gadget lovers.
My brother-in-law is like that. He once hacked my computer while I was in the middle of talking smack to him. Or more accurately, because I was in the middle of talking smack to him.
Twenty-one percent of dads consider themselves home organizers.
Most dads who use social media use it, at least in part, to become better fathers
Sixty-one percent of fathers who use social media apply the information and advice they get from social to be better dads. Social media is a great parenting resources for many fathers today.
Dad wants to hang out with you on Father’s Day
Sweet and simple. A beer subscription is great, but it would be better for him if you drank it together. And who wants to play with a drone alone? What good is a flying drone if he can’t make it chase you? By and large, the number one thing dads want for Father’s Day is your time - quality time with the kids.
But if you can’t be there, he’ll take money
It’s the truth, folks. If your father is anything like the men answering these polls, he doesn’t want another tie. He doesn’t want the cufflinks. He doesn’t even want those expensive leather shoes with the tassels.
According to Entrepreneur.com, 37 percent of fathers want gift cards and 29 percent want electronics, or a gadget of some type. Only 8 percent are okay with you taking the liberty to buy a gym membership, and only 7 percent would be happy with a magazine subscription - even one to a sports magazine.
And if you don’t give him money, get him a Harley
Dads are loyal to the brands they know and trust, according to Adweek. Nearly half (48 percent) of dads say they are loyal to brands compared with just 39 percent of moms. Eighty-one percent of fathers are even okay with brands sending them location-based mobile offers, and most (58 percent) have taken action on a mobile offer they receive.
There are 10 top brands that get the Dad Seal of Approval:
Twenty-eight percent of dads said they always buy top brands without concern for the price.
Millennials are handing out experiences this Father’s Day
Brunch, paintball, wine tastings, spa weekends, hunting trips... Millennials are far more likely to buy “experiences” for their dads this Father’s Day than things that need batteries.
In 2015, two in five Millennials were planning outings with Dad on or around Father’s Day, which represented 22 percent of Father’s Day shoppers.
Today’s fathers spend double the amount of time they spent with their kids in 1989, and almost triple the amount of time with their kids as fathers did back in 1965.
Men use social more after becoming fathers
While moms still have dads beat on creating a digital footprint, 61 percent of men say they started using social media more after having kids. Dads report getting product tips from social media:
- 44 percent get product or service recommendations from other dads on social
- 70 percent get product or service recommendations that would benefit the entire family
- 71 percent get recommendations for stuff for their kids
- 37 percent say they ask other dads for recommendations on products and services
Seventy-one percent of dads also use social media to keep the rest of the family up-to-date on what’s going on with the kids.
The one thing most people will do, whether they buy a gift or not, is call home
An actual phone call - not a text - is still one of the most popular gifts to give Dad on Father’s Day. Hopefully, the call is verifying the arrival of a gift.
Father’s Day is the busiest time of the year for collect calls
87 million greeting cards will be flying off the shelves for our 70 million dads this year
Totally makes sense. Last Father’s Day, I spent $20 just on greeting cards for my dad, my husband, and my ex-husband. It took us 2 hours to pick out the perfect Father’s Day cards, and the only card that saw any mantle action was the one my preschooler made in daycare.
Most dads don’t feel guilty about leaving the family home and going to work, but they do get a little sensitive when they have to take time from the family to get some much-needed gym time
We know that regular exercise helps you keep the extra pounds off, helps regulate your body to minimize the risk of getting metabolic disease, promotes mental clarity, helps stabilize your mood, and delivers an overall sense of well-being. Even still, Dads feel guilty for using what could be family time, or time with the kids, to do something as “selfish” (many fathers view self-care as a selfish act) like going to the gym.
The most popular Father’s Day gifts are…
In 2016, shoppers spent more than $14 billion celebrating Father’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation and Entrepreneur, the top buying categories were…
- Greeting cards, of course - $833 million on greeting cards
- Special outings - $3.1 billion on activity-based gifts of experiences like concerts, ball games, brunch
- Clothing - $1 billion in Father’s Day spending
- Gift cards - $1 billion in gift card purchases
- Electronics - $1.7 billion in consumer electronics purchases were planned for Father’s Day last year