Census Releases Grandparent Facts

Aug 27, 2002

The Census Bureau has culled facts pertaining to grandparents from recently released Census 2000 reports and other sources to mark the celebration of Grandparents Day. Census 2000 marked the first census that posed a question about grandparents as caregivers, U.S. Newswire reports.

  • 5.8 million grandparents lived with their grandchildren under 18 in 2000.
    2.4 million or 42 percent were responsible for most of the basic needs (i.e.,
    food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren they lived with
    in 2000.

  • Wyoming with 59 percent had the highest rate of grandparents who lived with
    their grandchildren in 2000 and were responsible for most of the basic needs
    of one or more of them. Oklahoma, Arkansas and South Dakota were next, at
    58 percent each. The lowest rates belonged to Massachusetts and Hawaii, both
    at 28 percent.

  • Grandparents lived under the same roof with two or more generations of descendants
    accounting for 3.9 million multigenerational family households in the United
    States in 2000. These households represented four percent of all households.

  • Hawaii led the nation in multigenerational family households with 8.2 percent
    in 2000. California (5.6 percent) and Mississippi (5.2 percent) were the only
    other states to exceed five percent. North Dakota had the least with 1.1 percent.
    Other states with fewer than two percent were Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana,
    Nebraska, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

  • 5.4 million grandchildren lived in a grandparent’s home in 2000 (4.5 million
    were under 18).

  • Twenty-one percent of preschoolers were cared for by their grandparents
    while their mother was employed or in school in 1997. Grandparents were the
    leading child-care providers for preschoolers who were in some type of child-care
    arrangement. Only 15 percent of these grandparents were paid for providing
    this care, with payments averaging $40 per week — half the amount charged
    by day-care centers.

Moderator Comment: What must retailers do to capture fair share of the graying American consumer’s expenditures?

Based on the Census numbers, one method would be for
retailers to create stronger ties to the nation’s grandchildren. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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