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Facts for Features
CB11-FF.17
Aug. 26, 2011

Grandparents Day 2011: Sept. 11

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.

6.7 million

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

Grandparents as Caregivers

2.7 million

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

8%

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

$45,007

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

1 million

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

1.9 million

The number of grandparent-caregivers who were married.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey, <http://factfinder.census.gov/>, Table B10057

1.6 million

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

700,000

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

70%

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

Grandchildren

7.5 million

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

3.2 million

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

30%

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,
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p70-121.pdf>

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>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014