It Pays (Literally) to Be a Dad

A new report found that men with children earn 40 percent more than their childless peers.

It Pays (Literally) to Be a Dad Photo (cc) by Peter Werkman (

Men, would you take on dirty diapers for a bigger paycheck?

According to a new report by City University of New York, men without children earned 40 percent less than working fathers in 2010. While dads brought home a median salary of $49,000, their childless counterparts earned $29,000.

Fathers are typically older and more established in their jobs, helping them earn a bigger paycheck. But that only partially explains the pay disparity, especially when you consider the difference in pay is pronounced, even when looking at men in the same age group. CNN Money said:

Dads in their prime earning years, ages 35 to 49, had a median personal income of $54,500. Childless men in that age group had only $36,000 in income.

Being a dad also appears to be a good indication of employment. The report noted that 92 percent of fathers had a full-time job, compared to 77 percent of men without kids.

Of the employed population of the U.S. in 1990, moms earned 53 percent less than dads. That percentage dropped to 40 in 2010. The report dubbed this the “mommy tax.”

“This suggests that men who were parents received a significant ‘daddy bonus’ in their personal incomes when compared to not only women’s personal incomes, but also the incomes of men who were not parents,” the report said.

Sure, there are bound to be extenuating factors that partially explain the disparity in pay. Moms worked about 13 percent fewer hours per week than dads in 2010: 35 hours versus 40 hours. Of course, women are also traditionally paid less than men, the report said, which likely explains the remaining gap.

The study also showed that a salary gap exists between moms and childless women. While working moms had a median income of $25,000, their childless counterparts brought in $20,165.

“Parenthood is giving advantages to men but not to women,” Justine Calcagno, a social psychologist and author of the report, told CNN Money.

Does it surprise you that working fathers are making so much more money than both working moms and childless men? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Krystal Steinmetz
Krystal Steinmetz
A former television and radio reporter, I stay at home with my two young children, run a small craft business and freelance for Money Talks News. I have a BA in journalism ... More

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