From House-Hubbies to On-Duty Dads, Australian Fathers are Actively Parenting

Friday, August 23, 2013

Aussie dads are a diverse bunch. From workaholics to house-hubbies, McCrindle Research has crunched the statistics on what fatherhood looks like in 21st Century Australia... including what presents dad should expect to receive this Father’s Day!

A snapshot of fatherhood in Australia

20% of Australia’s population is made up of dads.  There are approximately 4.6 million dads in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million dads currently with children aged under 18.  Of these, approximately 156,000 are single-parent fathers, who look after 228,000 children, which averages at 1.5 kids for each single dad.

Stay-at-home dads

ABS figures show that in Australia there are approximately 144,000 stay-at-home dads with dependent children. This means that of the 4.4 million dependent children in couple families where one parent is employed full time, 3% have a mother who is employed, while the father is not.

Fatherhood - a later life pursuit

There is certainly a trend of fatherhood becoming a delayed life stage, with the average age of a new father now 33.1 years of age! The Northern Territory and Tasmania are home to our nation’s youngest dads, with the median age of fathers at 31.5 and 31.7 years respectively at the child’s birth. However, Victoria and the ACT have the oldest dads, with a median age of 33.7 years at birth.

Time spent fathering the same... but roles are a-changing

While fathers spend roughly four hours a day caring for their children (the same in 2006 as it was 11 years before in 1997), the role of the father has significantly evolved. In a study conducted by McCrindle Research in 2010, it was uncovered that men under 30 are less likely to be adept at building a cubby house, fixing a tap or a punctured tire, but more likely to be able to change a baby’s nappy, bake a birthday cake, wash clothes and drop the kids off at school. In comparison, mum’s spend 8.5 hours caring for their children, up from just under 8 hours in 1997.

Work hard for the money

Our nation’s men are more likely to feel their work and family responsibilities are out of whack, with 16% saying these are rarely or never in balance (ABS, 2007). This could be due to the fact that men with children do not work any less than men without children – that is, 42 hours per week on average. This shows that while our dad’s are working hard, they still greatly value time with their greatest asset - their children.

Googling the perfect present

Interestingly, Google search trends show “Father’s Day” was one of the most popular searches in Australia... in June! Rather than it being about shoppers getting in early, this shows the globalisation of the day as the “when is Father’s Day” searches peaked in Australia on Sunday June 16 which was America’s Father’s Day and obviously many Aussies were caught unawares, thinking they had missed the day!

For those who got the date right, we can see some interesting trends in what presents people are considering for their dads. By using Google analytics and exploring what Australian’s are googling in the ‘shopping’ category recently, we’ve seen some interesting trends, and the search “gifts for men” and “father’s day gifts” are near the top of the shopping search terms. The top searches in the days before Father’s Day last year were:

  1. GPS navigation devices. This shows that perhaps dads today, though evolving in many ways, still share one fundamental attribute... that is, they’d still rather not stop and ask for directions!

  2. Soccer rose strongly in popularity in Australia and perhaps a dad or two is looking to get on field, with a sporting retailer specialising in soccer supplies at the top of the search list.

  3. Hardware and outdoors supplies rose to the top of the charts.

  4. For the rev-head dad, we also saw a car merchandise suppliers in the top ten.

  5. The traditional ‘socks and jocks’ approach seems to have moved online. In the weeks before Father’s Day 2012 we saw ‘shoe size conversion’ trending in Google search... perhaps dad got some fancy European loafers or German Birkenstocks!


ABS, McCrindle Research, Google Analytics 2012, 2013.

For further demographic analysis and the latest insights, visit our Resources Page.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


lifestyle couple event mobile cultural diveristy suburbs social enquiry innovative apartments sector social research goal consumerism growing population aged care wages home ownership cloudy days small business conference speaker participants Australian Bureau of Statistics urban taskforce optimistic mccrindle research digital TED talk demographics family researcher personalities trades Royals education future Australian Dream HSC google for education sydney property market increasing densification social commentator sector wide study hunger state Jura Australia collaboration rain earning business Queensland: QLD gen z generation Z Channel 7 high school church safe speajer meals NEETs speakers healthy future leadership workshop life Retail ease of travel results public holiday census energy cartodb professional speaker ethnography language Northern beaches Event local communities typical australian office parenting video sunny days TDE technology Wellington Myth housing affordability Performance Sentiment Index presentation shopper's pick Northern Beaches careers summer ABS cash school World Water Day hobart 24,000,000 money Crime Rates speaker gen alpha australian communities trends report volunteering data "know the times" entertainment generation land of the middle class urban living index 2012 education research moderators guide mover and shaker forecasting greatness ACF wealth inequality keynote media earn learning census fail CPI future of education Tuesday Trends future of work product donation cancelling event 1980 ACF2017 food insecurity tv workplace Australian Communities Trends education analysis TED 2013 social issues crows nest not-for-profit sydney market work from home employment February 16 trends of 2017 global retail Charlotte Sydney data visualisation interactive VET ageing population hills shire easy rider internships global award winner Christmas day weather crime January 26th holiday communities visualisation sydneysider Skilling fears ashley fell seasons dreams population map toys children DIY know the times sunburnt country collaborative social trends communication jobs of the future domestic Gen X mentor australian gig trends analyst NBRS dare to dream 1975 screenagers omnibus suburban living goals data trends faux-cilising population milestone stay home Wodonga employmer community event tea holidays supply and demand cost Financial Planning Association of Australia impact high density apartments volunteering The Daily Edition mortgage local community financial future baby boom hornsby Australian Trends customer Macquarie University challenge geomapping real VIC spirituality Valentine’s Day events social shifts ACT Report Christmas in Australia South Australia future IT Specialists students brands internet storytelling average aussie housing market divorce Sydney keynote speaker ACF 2016 mccrindle tea work-life forum SA sun census data teleworking monarchy property price Financial Planning Week schools students bureau Netflix ideas 1968 rise of local educhat statistics teach intern communications national wealth huffington post economy mythbusting ferry alpha New Zeland financial planning non profit Christmas Stats millennials clothing youth transport parents Andrew Duffin cultural diversity water sector wide rental stress national private wealth infographics trends of 2016 apartment survey design investing future of shopping personal growth Black Friday in Australia trend tuesday wealth distribution Tasmania DESTEL 1994 victoria the hills shire digital economy engagement 2016 emerging trends weekly earnings year 12 contiki offenders shbc Tuesday Trend Maxim Accounting social life story townhouses organisations professional services Hornsby Shire Council employmee Caregiver rent Northern Beaches Christian School future-proof acf15 online shopping in the media low density 2016 census results sydney event year 7 Australians wealth Christmas presents balance changing face of sydney entrepreneur rule keeper train suburb divorce rate Hills Shire Council medicine friendship commute public speaking states long weekend training baby name neutral bay research pack narcissism social researchers Population Clock unemployment not for profit research research data spend REIV Conference qualitative research tableau Queensland survey capital cities trend house price volunteers food Financial Planning Association TEDx Speaker emerging technologies debt mccrinlde micro social analyst australian social research generational trends organisational culture debate financial independence Duchess of Cambridge christianity research services prince george Do It Yourself names Work place Australian Families bondi property Sydney Hills Business Chamber friends millionth census 2016 winter blues work mates renter of the future responsive proactive area millenials food bank celebration growth urban living breakfast quote sydney metro Generation Y volunteer Bathburst charity travel facts investment giving coffee chairty internship christmas 2017 Mark McCrindle in the media Mark McCrindle christmas trees ultimo #censusfail teacher mythbusters social media experience showreel eliane miles Black Friday Sales marriage identity vegemite donate educated environmental scanning Australian communities professional development care support commuters education sector logan child care in depth interviews social analysis employers conferences community engagement vegetarian Australian demographics FOMO SMSF renting curiosity equip panel future proof housing trends princess charlotte TEDx tuesday poor priorities christian owning a home innovation pharmacy living Australian Population baby education future report finance VET sector report Research Director James Ward youth unemployment grave decision housing Kiwi easter christmas teachers sustainable mining boom young australians coffee lovers JOMO city ACF17 school satisfaction Engineering Manager norwest Births unaffordable Willowdale the hills university 2015 forecast social home owner social lives follow McCrindle Speakers What is food insecurity? charities infographic anzac publication society trends royal study environment wealth and income builders rising house prices Adelaide overcast Australian schools winter commuting budget work meetings brand demographic not for profit research visualisation national crime rates school students home cost of living earnings google leader staff happy holidays Geoff Brailey ipswich 2017 teaching australia engage marriages population group session high density living property development financial fears emerging generations future proofing REIV National Conference social researcher marrickville visual financial Assistant Store Manager moreton bay pharmacies hopes Aussie who is generation z hills menai entrepreneurs of today New South Wales McCridle australians staying home more the great screenage NSW relevant royal influence learn learning styles average sydneysider plans gig economy repayments tips 2016 census royal baby demographic transformations shopping program poker master Kirsten Brewer professional authenticity professional presenters population growth Wagga Wagga business performance Gen Y NT SRE new office Scouts workforce Mount Annan-Currant Hill shopping centre screenage 23 million Lower Hunter Region Channel Seven Business analysis learner baby boomers Christmas lunch optus my business awards capital city Real Estate public transport recap Research Executive Aussies cars wedding Christmas season McCrindle Speaker deloitte women families choice workers social commentary aged care puzzle EFF conference presentation global generations culture tertiary education car buildings stats society outsourcing Word Up cancel plans office opening career manly perth demographic trends snapshot online world youth day generations focus group group Real Estate Institute of Victoria wellbeing darwin affordability megatrends define economic selfie 24 million urban grandparents baby names wealth and income distribution dreaming ashley mckenzie Deaths wolloomooloo Northern Territory Australian community trends government households australian communities forum ACT New Zealand Gen Z Expert middle class FPA affordable investor optus socialising Education Future Forum schools pyrmont workplace culture average Australian the changing face of growth of sydney media release live the dream the australian dream happiness blaxland media activity conference nfp sydney speaker Hunter Valley Sydney’s south west housing growth NBRS Architecture faux-cilise residents fresh property market Territory paying to work Canberra infographic wall resilience Love cold sydney hills waverton socialites financial dreams mateship seasons greetings cancelling plans relational CBD criminal brisbane weather mccrindle Christchurch litter woolworths etiquette global financial crisis baby name trends rich casual consumer staying in cica data analyst jobs entrepreneurial house price rise census results news Elderslie-Harrington park australian real estate sydneycity younger generations university degree student demography insight shifts annual income sentiments australian community trends report newspaper the average aussie generation alpha TAS Australia Day communicate Christmas research Melbourne market research 40 million Australia street Australia Day 2017 The ABC of XYZ Jura Coffee office space twentyseventeen travelling social change nativity scene high density community skills social impact Christmas day eliane post rationalism Social Trend list Sydney population business index research thought leadership daily commute hello fresh presentations purpose research report Cobbitty-Leppington village gender house prices mother's day retirement PSI micro apartments salary bus kate middleton Merry Christmas gold coast focus groups mccrindle in the media marketing Res Vis tattoos house men father's day demographer Christmas data GPO potts point household religion System's Architect the lucky country Vocational education faith slideshare income baby name predictions new york times US dessert media commentary networking urban development speakers pack world ageing Australian Census Western Australia cooking insights going out sports baby names report English 10 years faux-ciliser thrive motivate Black Friday McCrindle Keynote Speakers dream baby names australia report change belief SMART NFP event culturally diverse politics public speaker graphs Australian Home leadership Generation X wage daily telegraph brand experience workshop sydneysiders Lower Hunter case study lalor park local keynote speaker Sydney Lifestyle Study 2020 2014 WA futurist award young people royal family resource aussie culture research on coffee click