While a lot of the country on Sunday will commemorate the 9/11 tragedy, which took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in the New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania terrorist attacks 15 years ago, some very fortunate others will celebrate Sunday as National Grandparents Day.
Marian McQuade is credited with beginning the campaign in 1970 to establish the day to honor grandparents, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.
This year the occasion it just happens to share the spotlight with 9/11. But people to whom National Grandparents Day applies should take time to celebrate with flowers, gifts and special visits.
Being a grandparent these days is more than just a senior title. It often involves a lot of responsibility and a heck of a lot of hard work.
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There are 7.2 million reasons not to forget National Grandparents Day. That’s the number of grandparents in the United States whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2014.
The census also notes that 2.6 million grandparents were responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under age 18 living with them in 2014. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million were grandmothers and 1 million were grandfathers.
Grandparents are hardly rolling in the dough. In the U.S., 547,722 grandparents caring for grandchildren under age 18 had incomes below the poverty level in the last 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 is $49,700. Of those families in which a parent of those kids was not present, the median income fell to $37,044.
The census notes that 1.8 million of those grandparents caring for their grandchildren were married. That includes those grandparents who were separated.
Many of the grandparents also had jobs. The census reports that 1.5 million of the grandparents caring for their grandchildren under age 18 were in the labor force. Of that number, 383,694 of the grandparents were age 60 or older.
In the U.S. 1.8 million of the grandparents responsible for their grandkids lived in owner-occupied housing, compared with 831,146 who were living in renter-occupied housing.
Not all grandparents are alike — 481,713 grandparents raising their grandchildren are foreign born while 2.1 million were born in the U.S. The census tells us that 2 million grandparents raising grandchildren spoke only English while 248,942 spoke another language but considered their English use to be good. An additional 384,077 foreign grandparents considered their English to be not as good.
In the U.S., 5.8 million children under age 18 were living with a grandparent householder in 2014. Nearly half of those youngsters, or 2.7 million kids, were under age 6. There also were 3.1 million children in 2015 who were living with both of their grandparents, regardless of whether they also lived with their parents.
For those to whom it applies, their adult kids and grandkids, Happy National Grandparents Day!