Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Newsroom

Skip top of page navigation
Facts for Features
CB13-FF. 18
July 8, 2013

National Grandparents Day 2013: Sept. 8

In 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since in honor of our nation's grandparents. The Census Bureau presents updates of statistics about their role and responsibilities in our society.

7 million

The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2011.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10050
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10050&prodType=table>

Grandparents as Caregivers

2.7 million

The number of grandparents responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under age 18 living with them in 2011. Of these caregivers, 1.7 million were grandmothers and 1.0 million were grandfathers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10056
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10056&prodType=table>

594,000

The number of grandparents responsible for grandchildren under age 18 and whose income was below the poverty level in the past 12 months compared with the 2.1 million grandparent caregivers whose income was at or above the poverty level.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10059
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10059&prodType=table>

$45,526

Median income for families with grandparent householders responsible for grandchildren under age 18. Among these families, where a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median income was $33,627.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10010
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10010&prodType=table>

1.9 million

The number of married (including separated) grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10057
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10057&prodType=table>

1.7 million

The number of grandparents in the labor force responsible for own grandchildren under age 18. Among them, 338,000 were 60 years or older.
Source: U. S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10058
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10058&prodType=table>

657,000

The number of grandparents who had a disability and were responsible for their grandchildren.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10052
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10052&prodType=table>

1.9 million

The number of grandparents responsible for their grandchildren who were living in owner-occupied housing, compared with 844,000 that were living in renter-occupied housing.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011, American Community Survey, Table B10061
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10061&prodType=table>

505,000

The number of foreign-born grandparents responsible for their own grandchildren under age 18. This contrasts with 2.2 million native-born grandparent caregivers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10053
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10053&prodType=table>

2.1 million

The number of grandparents responsible for their grandchildren, who speak only English. Another 255,000 speak another language, but speak English "very well"; 414,000 speak another language and speak English less than "very well."
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10054
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10054&prodType=table>

Grandchildren

5.5 million

The number of children under 18 living with a grandparent householder in 2011. Nearly half, 48 percent or 2.6 million, were under age 6.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B10001
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B10001&prodType=table>

10%

Percentage of children in the U.S. living with a grandparent in 2012, totaling 7.1 million.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2012, Table C4
<https://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html>

2.7 million

The number of children living with both grandmother and grandfather in 2012.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2012, Table C4
<https://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html>

It's Official

14,821

The number of nursery, garden center and farm supply businesses with paid employees in the U.S. in 2011. The forget-me-not was named the official flower of National Grandparents Day by the National Grandparents Day Council.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

59,458

The number of musicians, singers and related workers employed full time, year-round, in 2011. "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa" was named the official song of National Grandparents Day in 2004 by the National Grandparents Day Council.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B24124
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B24124&prodType=table>

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)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • 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>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014