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Number of stay-at-home dads on the rise

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SALT LAKE CITY — Figures recently compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau show the number of stay-at-home dads has doubled in the past decade.

Roughly 189,000 men stay home to care for their children while their wives go to work outside of the home, according to the Census Bureau's Profile America on Father's Day 2013.

The data also shows nearly 20 percent of fathers with children under the age of 5 are the primary caretaker, with Utah falling slightly behind that average.

Tracy Camara is one of those dads choosing to stay home. In doing so, he can relate to others who complain about a workplace — a moody boss, constant distractions, a tight schedule — he just doesn't get a paycheck.

By the numbers ...

  • 70.1 million — estimated number of fathers across the nation in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available
  • 24.4 million — number of fathers who were part of married couple families with children younger than 18 in 2012
  • 1.96 million — number of single fathers in 2012; 16 percent of single parents were men

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The Provo dad has three kids, or "little bugs" as he calls them, are all under the age of 6. Staying home with them, he said, it's not about the money. He does it because his wife works full time at a job she loves, and he doesn't want someone else raising his children.

"I want her to have the opportunity to have her dreams come true," Camara said. "(Staying home) is a choice. It's something I really want to do."

Camara earned a bachelor's degree in international business, but right now he prefers the business and company of his children. Not everyone understands his decision, though.

"They ask, ‘Did you just lose your job?' They ask, ‘Are you in school? Are you taking a break?'" Camara said.

At his latest employee review, Camara's 6-year-old daughter, Callista, said Dad's doing a fine job.

"Sometimes he makes funny jokes, and they're just so funny," she said.

For now, Camara plans to continue on in his profession of choice.

"I will do it as long as it is still helpful to the family," he said.

For more statistics on American fathers, check out the Census Bureau's Profile America on Father's Day 2013.

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