The number of stay-at-home dads has nearly doubled since 1989, yet traditional mindset remains.

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KUSA - The number of stay-at-home dads has nearly doubled since 1989.

The Great Recession had a big impact on the shift as some fathers were forced out of the workplace.

One million was the approximate number of dads who stayed home to take care of the kids in 1989. In 2010 that spiked to 2.2 million, the highest point ever in America.The dramatic change was driven, not surprisingly, by dads who couldn't get back into the workforce.

The slow uptick in the economy has seen an ever so slight downturn in the number - to just around two million in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center.

It's definitely becoming more acceptable for dads to be caregivers, but at the same time the public still views moms and dads in "traditional roles."

"When we survey the public, we find that the public views the importance of stay-at-home dads very differently than stay at home moms," said Gretchen Livingston, senior researcher at the Pew Research Institute. "Fifty one percent say that kids are better off if mom is at home. But only about 8 percent say the same about having a dad at home."

It's a mindset that America just can't seem to shake.

To put things in perspective, the number of stay-at-home moms is around ten million, far exceeding the number of stay-at-home dads.

The research includes an analysis of U.S. census data from a nationally representative sample from 1989 through 2012. It looked at all stay-at-home fathers with kids ages 17 and younger. Stay-at-home dads were defined as men who did not have jobs during the prior year.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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