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Study Finds More Grandparents Are Raising Their Grandchildren

By Heather Turgeon |

More grandparents are raising grandchildren

This Sunday is National Grandparents Day, and new research shows we have a lot to thank them for. According to the new Census Bureau data, more and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Seven million children live with at least one grandparent, and 2.9 million are raised exclusively by a grandparent. That’s 16 percent higher than in 2000–a big jump of 6 percent happened between 2007-2008.

The reason? Researchers point to the recession and the strain on families, single parents who can’t make ends meet and are overwhelmed with financial burdens.

Proportionally, having grandparents in the house is more common in African American and Latino households, but between 2007-2008 the sharpest rise was among White parents.

What do the grandparents have to say about this?

According to the data, most of the grandparents give themselves “high marks” for their parenting skills.

Of course, having grandparents in the house is no new thing, it’s common practice in many cultures–more hands on deck, close family ties–(don’t get any ideas, mom). But we’re not talking about a choice, this data suggests a lot of grandparents are being hit with the responsibility of raising young children in a crisis time, just as they’re ready to settle in and relax. Do they have the energy, the desire, or the right relationships with their grandkids to do it?

Image: Flickr/Spigoo

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About Heather Turgeon


Heather Turgeon

Heather Turgeon is currently writing the book The Happy Sleeper (Penguin, 2014). She's a therapist-turned-writer who authors the Science of Kids column for Babble. A northeasterner at heart, Heather lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two little ones. Read bio and latest posts → Read Heather's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Study Finds More Grandparents Are Raising Their Grandchildren

  1. Marj says:

    There are other reasons for grandparents to be highly involved in their grandchildren’s lives. My mother and my husband’s parents are alternative caregivers for our twins. Mostly because they love us and the twins, and we want them to be part of our kids lives. My mother will be moving in with us for awhile because although my Dad’s health requires him to retire before 65, they cannot afford for her to quit her job, with it’s great health benefits. So he’s moving out to their property to be a sustenance farmer, and she is staying here to continue her job (and of course help with the kids). Of course a lot of grandparents end up parenting their grandkids because their teen had a baby…these grandparents are nowhere near retirement. Also, in this economy more and more extended families are sharing homes.

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