Since 1978 National Grandparents Day has been celebrated on the first Sunday of September.
Multigenerational living has grown sharply in the U.S. over the past five decades and shows no sign of stopping. When asked why they share their home with relatives, Americans often give practical reasons related to finances or family caregiving. The top reason given (40%) was finances. Caregiving (33%) was the second most frequent reason for the living arrangement, including 25% who tend to an adult and 12% caring for children. The U.S. Census map below shows where grandparents tended to live with their children and grandchildren the most in 2020.
According to an analysis of census data from 1971-2021, the number of people living in multigenerational family households quadrupled, reaching 59.7 million in March 2021. The share more than doubled as well, to 18% of the U.S. population.
This increase in multigenerational living has been fed by social forces that include rapid growth of the U.S. Asian and Hispanic populations who, along with Black Americans, each are more likely than White Americans to live with extended family, especially if they are immigrants.
A quarter of adults in multigenerational households say caregiving is occurring in their homes, in the form of personal care for another adult or for a child younger than 18 who is not the caregiver’s own child. Those with lower (30%) and middle (24%) incomes are more likely than those with upper incomes (15%) to say caregiving is occurring in their household. Among adults living with a parent 65 or older, 23% say they personally provide care for another adult in the household at least sometimes, compared with 8% of those living with a parent younger than 65.
More adults living in multigenerational households say the experience has been very positive.
Parents are more likely than adult children to pay the rent or mortgage when the two generations share a home. A majority of parents who live with an adult child (63%) say they pay more than half the rent or mortgage, including 51% who say they pay all.
30% of adult children living with a parent say they pay nothing. Adult children are more likely to chip in for day-to-day costs; only 9% of those living with their parents say they pay nothing for groceries, utility bills or other household expenses. Still, 45% of parents living with adult children say they pay all such costs.
According to a survey off 1,500 people across the U.S. by Preply.com, “Nana” and “Papa” are the most popular nicknames. The maps at right show the most popular nicknames, excluding Grandma and Grandpa, in every state.
The survey’s “select all that apply” for this category gave over 35 options, including Nonna (Italian), Oma (German), Yiayia (Greek), Lola (Filipino) and Tata (Polish), among many others. Nearly 20% of those surveyed likely use “Grandma” and a nickname rooted in their cultures and/or backgrounds.
- The average American sees at least one of their grandparents 27 times a year.
- 45% speak to their grandparents on the phone at least monthly.
- 68% of respondents agree that they’d rather spend time with their grandparents than their own parents, accounting for the majority in 35 states.
Who is your favorite grandparent?
North Dakota State University has a few tips on how to raise a child in this PDF document if you are a grandparent.
Care.com has a guide to 14 ways to celebrate Grandparents Day.
Source: Orange County Register