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Facts for Features
CB09-FF.16
July 13, 2009

Grandparents Day 2009: Sept. 13

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.

6.2 million

The number of grandparents whose grandchildren younger than 18 lived with them in 2007.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

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 lived with them in 2007. These grandparents represented about 40 percent of all grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million were grandmothers, and 932,000 were grandfathers.

1.8 million

The number of grandparent-caregivers who were married in 2007.

1.5 million

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

930,000

Number of grandparents in 2007 responsible for caring for their grandchildren for at least the past five years.

482,000

Number of grandparents whose income was below the poverty level and who were caring for their grandchildren.

732,000

Number of grandparents with a disability who were caring for their grandchildren.

586,000

Number of grandparents who spoke a language other than English and who were responsible for caring for their grandchildren.

$44,469

Median income for families with grandparent-caregiver householders. If a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median dropped to $33,453.

71%

Among grandparents who cared for their grandchildren in 2007, the percentage who lived in an owner-occupied home.

Source for statements in this section: 2007 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

Grandchildren

6.6 million

The number of children living with a grandparent in 2008; these children comprised 9 percent of all children in the United States. The majority of these children, 4.4 million, lived in the grandparent's home.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb09-29.html>

2.6 million

The number of children who lived with both a grandmother and a grandfather in 2008.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb09-29.html>

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 in 2005. 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 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb08-31.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 09, 2014