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Published:July 16th, 2006 04:23 EST

Facts About Grandparents Day 2006: Sept. 10

By SOP newswire

Grandparents Day was the brainchild of Marian McQuade of Fayette County, W.Va., who hoped that such an observance might persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. The first presidential proclamation was issued in 1978, and one has been issued each year since — designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. In honor of our nation’s grandparents, the Census Bureau presents an array of data about these unsung role models and caregivers.

How Many Grandparents?
About 56 million

Number of grandparents in the United States.
(Source: Unpublished data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation)

5.7 million
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under 18 live with them. (Source: American FactFinder)

Grandparents as Caregivers
2.4 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 live with them. These grandparents represent about 42 percent of all grandparents whose grandchildren live with them. Of these caregivers, 1.5 million are grandmothers and 880,000 are grandfathers. (Source: American FactFinder)

1.7 million
The number of grandparent-caregivers who are married. (Source: American FactFinder)

1.4 million
The number of grandparents who are in the labor force and also responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren. (Source: American FactFinder)

Number of grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren for at least the last five years. (Source: American FactFinder)

Number of grandparents whose income is below the poverty level and caring for their grandchildren. (Source: American FactFinder)

Number of grandparents with a disability — yet caring for their grandchildren.
(Source: American FactFinder)

Number of foreign-born grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren.
(Source: American FactFinder)

Number of grandparents who speak English less than “very well” and are responsible for caring for their grandchildren. (Source: American FactFinder)

Among preschoolers with employed mothers, the percentage regularly cared for by their grandparent during the hours their mom spends employed outside the home. No other type of child care arrangement was more prevalent than by grandparents. <>

6.1 million

The number of children living with a grandparent; these children comprise 8 percent of all children in the United States. Of these children, 4.1 million lived in a grandparent’s home and 1.9 million in a parent’s home. <>

2.2 million
The number of children who resided with both a grandmother and a grandfather.

Recent research by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) reveals that more than
80 percent of the nation’s grandparents had visited or spoken with their grandchildren by phone in the past month. (Source: Hallmark research)

Remembering Grandma and Grandpa
About 3 million

Number of Grandparents Day cards given, nationwide, each year. (Source: Hallmark research)

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau's Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February)
Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
 Back to School (August)
Labor Day (Sept. 4)
Women's History Month (March) Grandparents Day (Sept. 10)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
   St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
 Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
 American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage
   Month (November)
Mother's Day (May 14) Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Father's Day (June 18) Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23)
The Fourth of July (July 4)  The Holiday Season (December)
Anniversary of Americans
   with Disabilities Act (July 26)
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. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-457-3670; or e-mail: <>.

SOURCE:  U.S. Census Bureau