21 Little-Known Facts About Grandparents and Grandchildren

This past Sunday, September 9, 2012, was the 33rd annual National Grandparents Day. In honor of the event and just for a little fun, we’ve rounded up 25 of the coolest, little-known facts about these people that play such a huge role in shaping who we are: our grandparents, and the little (or not so little!) ones they live to please: their grandchildren.

  1. According to Grandparents.com, 72 percent of grandparents say they “think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.” Note to grandparents: And we think you do a pretty darn good job at it, too!
  2. Grandparents are getting younger: The average age of a grandparent in the U.S. is 48. Most become grandparents in their forties (37 percent) and fifties (43 percent).
  3. In 2010, 5.4 million children under the age of 18 lived with a grandparent, Wicked Localestimates.


    Image by Coe on Stock.xchng

  4. Today’s grandparents are more active than ever! Nearly half (43 percent) exercise or play sports, 28 percent volunteer regularly and 18 percent dance.
  5. 75 percent of grandparents are online. There’s no question that seniors can be reached on the Web!
  6. More than half of grandparents (56 percent) share photos online. Hmmm…what are the chances they’re sharing photos of their fabulous grandchildren?
  7. Almost half of grandparents (45 percent) are on the social networking scene. Anyone have Grandma as a Facebook friend?
  8. Ten percent of grandparents have a tattoo. That’s right, a tattoo. Can you imagine the grandparents of a few decades ago with tattoos?
  9. Six percent of grandparents have a blog. (This is one of our favorites, given that we’re big fans of content marketing. We love to see the older generation embracing the wonders of the Web!)
  10. Grandparents are contributing to the care of their grandchildren in a big way. Thirteen percent are primary caregivers for their grandchildren, and 72 percent take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis.
  11. Grandparents are big spenders. They control 75 percent of the wealth in the U.S., and they’re not afraid to use it, spending $52 billion each year on their grandchildren.
  12. 1.7 million grandparents are married, out of 56 million grandparents residing in the U.S., according to About.com. Hey, the golden years don’t mean you can’t find love! SeniorMatch.com anyone?
  13. By the year 2015, nearly 60 percent of grandparents will be Baby Boomers.
  14. Grandparents are business savvy: 23 percent have started their own business.
  15. Adventure isn’t out of the question! Three percent of grandparents have run a marathon; two percent have gone skydiving. Rock on!
  16. They say phooey to the mortgage crisis. In fact, 55 percent of grandparents don’t even have a mortgage payment. Guess that’s how they can spend so much on their grandkids.
  17. The adventures don’t stop with dancing and skydiving. Grandparents are spending $77 billion each year on travel.
  18. Diaper duty isn’t over when your own kids are potty trained. 92 percent of grandparents have changed a grandchild’s diaper.
  19. Modern days haven’t meant the end of the comforting smell of fresh-baked goods in Grandma’s kitchen; 86 percent of grandparents bake cookies for their families.
  20. More than half (55 percent) play video games with their grandkids.
  21. They just can’t get enough: 70 percent of grandparents report seeing their grandchildren at least once a week.

What do you find most interesting about today’s grandparents? While the old traditions are still intact, modern grandparents are active adventure-seekers who are more than happy to take their grandchildren along for the ride.  If you want to find out more about being a grandparent or specific circumstances such as raising grandchildren, check out AARP’s GrandFacts center which is packed with useful information about navigating this stage of life.


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