EMBARGOED UNTIL: 12:01 A.M. EDT, JULY 1, 1999 (THURSDAY) Public Information Office CB99-115 301-457-3030/301-457-3670 (fax) 301-457-1037 (TDD) e-mail: email@example.com Ken Bryson/Lynne Casper 301-457-2416 Nearly 5.5 Million Children Live with Grandparents, Census Bureau Reports About 5,435,000 children, or 7.7 percent of all children in the United States, were living in homes with a grandparent in 1997, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau said today. The findings are part of the Census Bureau's first report on households where grandparents and grandchildren live together. "A grandparent maintains the household in three-fourths of families that have both grandparents and grandchildren," said Ken Bryson, co-author with Lynne M. Casper of Coresident Grandparents and Grandchildren, P23-198. In the remaining one-fourth, parents maintain homes in which grandparents and grandchildren live together. Householders are defined as those in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented. Casper said that grandchildren in certain types of families are more prone to economic hardship. "For example, about two-thirds of grandchildren in homes maintained by a grandmother with no spouse or parents of the grandchildren present are in poverty," Casper said. Grandparent-maintained households differ from parent-maintained households in many other ways. The report contrasts grandparent- and parent-maintained families where grandchildren live with grandparents: _________________________________________________________________________ Grandparent-maintained families Parent-maintained families with grandchildren with grandparents and grandchildren Half of these families consist Only 13 percent of these families of both a grandmother and grandfather; have both a grandmother and most of the others (43 percent) have grandfather living there, while a grandmother with no husband. 70 percent of such families have only a grandmother present. Only 15 percent of the grandmothers Half the grandmothers and and 21 percent of the grandfathers 56 percent of the grandfathers are 65 or older. are 65 or older. A majority of both grandfathers Only a third of the grandfathers (72 percent) and grandmothers and a quarter of the grandmothers (56 percent) are employed. are employed. Half the grandchildren in such Only a third of the grandchildren families are under age 6. are under age 6. About 27 percent of the grandchildren About 17 percent of the are poor. grandchildren are poor. A third of the grandchildren have Only 19 percent of the no health insurance. grandchildren have no health insurance. ___________________________________________________________________________ The report notes that Census 2000 will include a multi-part question addressing the issue of grandparents as caregivers. Data are from the March 1997 Current Population Survey. As in all surveys, the estimates are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. -X- The U.S. Census Bureau, pre-eminent collector and disseminator of timely, relevant and quality data about the people and the economy of the United States, conducts a population and housing census every 10 years, an economic census every five years and more than 100 demographic and economic surveys every year, all of them evolving from the first census in 1790.