Grandparents Day was the brainchild of Marian McQuade of Fayette County, W.Va., who hoped that such an observance might persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. President Jimmy Carter signed the first presidential proclamation in 1978 , and one has been issued each year since , designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The first official observance was Sept. 9, 1979. In honor of our nation’s grandparents, the Census Bureau presents an array of data about these unsung role models and caregivers.

6.1 million
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren younger than 18 live with them. Source: 2006 American Community Survey <https://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/users_guide/index.htm>

Grandparents as Caregivers

2.5 million
The number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren who live with them. These grandparents represent about 40 percent of all grandparents whose grandchildren live with them. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million are grandmothers, and 896,000 are grandfathers.

1.7 million
The number of grandparent-caregivers who are married.

1.4 million
The number of grandparents who are in the labor force and also responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren.

918,000
Number of grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren for at least the past five years.

477,000
Number of grandparents whose income is below the poverty level and who are caring for their grandchildren.

730,000
Number of grandparents with a disability who are caring for their grandchildren.

544,000
Number of grandparents who speak a language other than English and who are responsible for caring for their grandchildren.

$42,111
Median income for families with grandparent-caregiver householders. If a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median dropped to $31,405.

73%
Among grandparents who care for their grandchildren, the percentage who live in an owner-occupied home.
Source for statements in this section: 2006 American Community Survey

Grandchildren

5.7 million
The number of children living with a grandparent; these children comprise 8 percent of all children in the United States. The majority of these children, 3.7 million, live in the grandparent’s home. Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2006

2.1 million
The number of children who live with both a grandmother and a grandfather.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2006

30%
Among children younger than 5 whose mothers worked outside the home, the percentage cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent during their mother’s working hours. Grandparents and fathers were the two biggest sources of child care by relatives when mothers went to work.

Source: Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2005

Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins is an author, mom, nurse and a community volunteer. She is the author of various articles about home and family life and has been featured in various parenting magazines and newspapers.
Greta Jenkins

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Greta JenkinsNewsGrandparentsGrandparents Day was the brainchild of Marian McQuade of Fayette County, W.Va., who hoped that such an observance might persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. President Jimmy Carter signed the first presidential proclamation in 1978 , and one has been issued each year since...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids