Dads ‘Worth’ Less Than They Were 10 Years Ago, Study Claims

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Some people might say that a dad is priceless. As far as one new study is concerned, those people would be wrong! I’m kidding, of course. But a report released this week claims there’s a very specific price tag on dad’s head: $20,248.

This, at least, is the total value of the average American dad’s annual household contributions, according to the yearly “Father’s Day Index” study from The index, in short, measures how much it would cost to hire someone to perform all the household chores that the typical dad does. If you were going to pay someone to “be dad,” it seems, you’d have to pay $20,248. Things like cleaning, cooking and helping with homework are all included, with 13 different standard parental activities measured. It’s a cold, hard look at the dad life. Eesh.

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And, despite changing paradigms and enlightenment and gender parity and so on, ad infinitum, it turns out that dad’s monetary “value” has actually fallen over the last 10 years. Sorry, dudes.

In 2002, the average dad did $16,495 worth of household work — adjusted for inflation, that’s $21,365. Dad’s stock is falling. This study is depressing and awkward on so many levels.

Now, if you really want your mind blown, compare this figure to the 2012 Mother’s Day Index. Mom’s household value is (drumroll please) $60,182 per year. Yep — you’d need to pay someone nearly three times as much to be a mom than to be a dad.

Of course, there are extenuating circumstances here. Men are, more often than not, the breadwinners among mixed-gender, married couples. And, according to some recent government data, stay-at-home dads make up less than 1 percent of married couples. Married moms are according to BLS statistics, simply more likely to be stay-at-home parents. So clearly, mom’s are more likely to be picking up the slack at home than dads are.

Still… the numbers are rather harsh, aren’t they?

Amy Tennery is the managing editor of The Jane Dough, which provides news and insight on women in the business world and political arena.

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