The number of men living as househusbands while their wives go to work has tripled in 15 years.
Last year 62,000 men were classed as economically inactive and looking after their family or home. In 1996, there were only 21,000 men in this category, according to analysis by the Office of National Statistics, compiled for The Spectator magazine.
Anastasia de Waal, head of families policy at the think tank Civitas, said society's attitudes to gender roles had changed, while growing numbers of women were earning more than their partners.
“A few decades ago the idea of the primary carer being a man would have been emasculating,” she said. “That has changed. Men feel much more comfortable with the idea.”
The true number of stay-at-home fathers could be much higher as the ONS figure does not take account of men who describe
themselves as “artists” or “writers” who are “working from home”.
A recent survey for the insurance company Aviva suggested that up to 1.4 million men in Britain were their children's main carers.
By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent