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Release Number CB17-FF.14
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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. To honor our nation’s grandparents, the U.S. Census Bureau presents statistics about their role in American society as caregivers of their grandchildren.

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Grandparents as Caregivers

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7.3 million

The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2015.

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2.6 million

The number of grandparents responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchild under age 18 living with them in 2015. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million were grandmothers and 1.0 million were grandfathers

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The number of grandparents responsible for grandchildren under age 18 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.

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The 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 $37,580.

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1.8 million

The number of married (including separated) grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren.

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1.5 million

The number of grandparents in the labor force responsible for their own grandchildren under age 18. Among them, 368,348 were 60 years or older.

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The number of grandparents who had a disability and were responsible for their grandchildren.

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The number of foreign-born grandparents responsible for their own grandchildren under age 18. This contrasts with 2.1 million native-born grandparent caregivers.

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2.0 million

The number of grandparents responsible for their grandchildren who spoke only English. Another 252,314 spoke another language, but spoke English “very well;” 362,390 spoke another language and spoke English less than “very well.”

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8.7 percent

The percentage of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders who lived with grandchildren in 2015. This is followed by American Indian and Alaska Natives and those of Some Other Race, which were not statistically different from each other at 7.3 and 7.4 percent, respectively, Hispanics at 6.9 percent, Asians at 6.1 percent and African-Americans at 5.6 percent. Non-Hispanic Whites are the group least likely to have grandparents living under the same roof as their grandchildren at 2.5 percent.

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5.9 million

The number of children under age 18 living with a grandparent householder in 2015. Nearly half or 2.6 million were under age 6.

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3.1 million

The number of children in 2015 who were living with both of their grandparents, regardless of whether they were also living with their parents.

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The 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)
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; or e-mail:

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