We ask questions about whether a person lives with his/her grandchildren under age 18, if he/she is the primary caregiver, and how long he/she has cared for his/her grandchildren to create statistics about grandparent caregivers.
Grandparent caregiver data help federal agencies understand the special provisions needed for federal programs designed to assist families, as older Americans are often in different financial, housing, and health circumstances than those of other ages. These data also help measure the effects of policies and programs that focus on the well-being of families, including tax policies and financial assistance programs.
We use your confidential survey answers to create statistics like those in the results below and in the full tables that contain all the data—no one is able to figure out your survey answers from the statistics we produce. The Census Bureau is legally bound to strict confidentiality requirements. Individual records are not shared with anyone, including federal agencies and law enforcement entities. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone—not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency.
We ask one question about whether adults live with their grandchildren under 18, and if they are responsible for their basic care.
The results from this question are compiled to provide communities with important statistics to help plan assistance programs. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.
We want to know more about families, particularly those where grandparents care for grandchildren, along with data about the ages of children, household income, disability, and poverty status. This information helps communities enroll eligible families in programs designed to assist them, such as the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and helps communities qualify for grants to fund these programs. These data are also used to evaluate programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Local officials use information about how many people in a community are over a certain age, including whether older Americans are caring for grandchildren, to fund programs and services targeted to reach older adults with the greatest economic and social needs (Older Americans Act).
Information about how often grandparents are responsible for the basic care for grandchildren and how long they have been responsible in combination with information about age, disability, income, etc., helps communities understand if available housing and services are meeting residents' needs.
The grandparents as caregivers question originated with the 2000 Census. It was transferred to the ACS in 2005 when it replaced the decennial census long form.