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Honor Your Grandparents on September 12 - National Grandparents Day

Grandparents play a big role in American society by setting the values and standards by which families live. In addition, today many grandparents take on the role of primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

This year National Grandparents Day will take place on September 12th. The Census Bureau has collected an array of data about grandparents to highlight the important role that they play in our lives.

Grandparents as Caregivers

2.6 million
The number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren who lived with them in 2008. These grandparents represented about 41 percent of all grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million were grandmothers, and 983,000 were grandfathers.

1.89 million
The number of older Americans over 65 years old who lived in a household with a grandchild present.

471,000
The number of older Americans over 65 years old with primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.

19%
Percentage of grandparents who were caring for their grandchildren and whose income was below the poverty level. This represents 493,000 grandparents.

$46,906
Median income for families with grandparent-caregiver householders. If a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median dropped to $34,782.

977,000
Number of grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren for at least the past five years.

1.9 million
The number of grandparent-caregivers who were married.

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.

655,000
Number of grandparents with a disability who were caring for their grandchildren.

72%
Among grandparents who cared for their grandchildren, the percentage who lived in an owner-occupied home.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey

For Information on Support for Caregivers

National Family Caregiver Support Program
The National Family Caregiver Support Program is funded by the Older Americans Act and offers a range of services to support family caregivers, including individual counseling, caregiver training and supplemental services.

National Family Caregivers Association
The National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) educates, supports, empowers and speaks up for the more than 50 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability or the frailties of old age. NFCA reaches across the boundaries of diagnoses, relationships and life stages to help transform family caregivers' lives by removing barriers to health and well being.

Generations United
Generations United (GU) is the national membership organization focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth, and older people through intergenerational strategies, programs, and public policies.

Family Caregiver Alliance
The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is one of the largest and oldest organizations in the United States devoted solely to caregivers. FCA and its National Center on Caregiving offer programs at local, state, and national levels.

National Alliance for Caregiving
The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on issues of family caregiving.

The Eldercare Locator
The Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service to help families and friends find information about community services for older people anywhere in the United States and its territories.