National Grandparents Day — which falls on Sept. 10 this year — has been around since 1970 when Marian McQuade started a campaign to create a day honoring grandparents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The holiday became official in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.
In honor of that day celebrating our nation’s grandparents, here's a look at some statistics about their role in American society:
1. 7.3 million
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2015.
2. 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.
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.
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.
5. 1.8 million
The number of married (including separated) grandparents responsible for caring for their grandchildren.
6. 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.
The number of grandparents who had a disability and were responsible for their grandchildren.
The number of foreign-born grandparents responsible for their own grandchildren under age 18. This contrasts with 2.1 million native-born grandparent caregivers.
9. 2 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.”
10. 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.
Source for all data: 2015 American Community Survey, via the U.S. Census Bureau