Census Report

10% of Grandparents Live with a Grandchild

Of the 65 million grandparents in the United States in 2012, nearly seven million (10%) lived with at least one grandchild, according to Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012, a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

About 4.2 million households (3% of all households) contained both grandchildren under 18 and their grandparents in 2012. More than 60% of these households were maintained by a grandparent and about one in three had no parent present.

In 2012, 2.7 million grandparents in the U.S. were raising their grandchildren. About 39% of these grandparent caregivers have cared for their grandchildren for five years or more.

The new report uses data from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine historical changes in coresidence of grandparents and characteristics of grandparents and grandchildren who live together.

Other findings:

  • Grandparents who lived with a grandchild in 2012 were younger, had lower levels of education and were more likely to be in poverty than those who did not live with a grandchild.
  • Two percent of grandparents who lived with a grandchild were age 30–39, whereas the highest percentage was for those age 50–59 (34%). Those age 80 and over made up only 4%.
  • Women comprised 64.2% of grandparents who lived with their grandchildren.
  • Forty-nine percent of children in grandparent-maintained households lived with both grandparents compared with only 19% of children in parent-maintained households.
  • Since 2007, about one-third of children who lived with a grandparent also had two parents present.