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In 1970, Marian McQuade began a campaign to set aside a special day just for grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a presidential proclamation, designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The first official observance was Sept. 9, 1979 — and has been celebrated every year since. In honor of our nation's grandparents, the Census Bureau presents an array of statistics about the role they play in our lives.
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren younger than 18 lived with them in 2009.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10050
The number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing) of one or more grandchildren who lived with them in 2009. These grandparents represented about 40 percent of all grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them. Of these caregivers, 1.7 million were grandmothers, and 1 million were grandfathers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10056
Percentage of grandparents living with grandchildren who were caring for their grandchildren and whose income was below the poverty level. This represents half a million grandparents.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/> Table B10059
Median income for families with grandparent-caregiver householders and/or spouses. If a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median dropped to $33,417.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/> Table B10010
Number of grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren for at least the past five years.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/> Table B10050
The number of grandparent-caregivers who were married.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10057
The number of grandparents who were in the labor force and also responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10058
Number of grandparents with a disability who were caring for their grandchildren.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10052
Among grandparents who were responsible for their grandchildren, the percentage who lived in an owner-occupied home.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10061
The number of children living with a grandparent in 2010; these children comprised 10 percent of all children in the United States. Of these children, 4.9 million lived in the grandparent's home.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2010
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html> Table C4
The number of children who lived with both a grandmother and a grandfather in 2010.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2010
<<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html> Table C4
Among children younger than 5 whose mothers were employed, the percentage cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent during their mother's working hours in 2005.
Source: Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2005/Summer 2006,
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
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>.