Grandparents' role in parenting continues to growNews added by Benefits Pro on August 1, 2012

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By Paula Aven Gladych

In honor of Grandparents Day on Sept. 9, the U.S. Census Bureau released data about grandparents and how their roles have changed over the years.

The data showed that in the U.S. in 2010, there were 7 million grandparents with grandchildren under the age of 18 living with them. The report also found that 2.7 million grandparents were responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under 18 living with them in 2010. Of these caregivers, 1.7 million were grandmothers and 1 million were grandfathers.

The 2010 American Community Survey also found that there were 580,000 grandparents responsible for children under age 18 whose income was below the poverty level in the past 12 months, compared with the 2.2 million grandparent caregivers whose income was at or above the poverty level.

The median income for families with grandparent householders responsible for grandchildren under 18 was $45,000. Among these families, where a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median income was $33,000.

There were 1.7 million grandparents responsible for grandchildren who were in the labor force, out of the total 2.7 million who were responsible for grandchildren. Also, there were 670,000 grandparents who had a disability of some kind and were responsible for taking care of their grandchildren.

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