National Grandparents Day

By official Presidential Proclamation,
President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents
Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day,
noting that the day was designed to recognize "the importance and worth
of the 17 million grandparents in our nation." Today, representing
one-third of the total population, there are now more than 70 million
grandparents in the United States and growing, with 1.7 million new
grandparents added to the ranks every year.

Check out these 2009 Census Fun Facts on grandparents:

• 6.6 million or 9% percent of all children in the United States – the number of children who lived with a grandparent in 2008.

2.5 million – the number of grandparents responsible for most of the
basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the
grandchildren who lived with them in 2007, representing about 40% of
all grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them.
• 1.5
million – the number of grandparents who worked while being responsible
for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren.
• 30% of
children younger than 5 whose mothers worked outside the home were
cared for on a regular basis by one or more grandparents.
• One of
the fastest growing demographics in the country is the hoard of
Boomers, who are often thought of as more adventurous and willing to
explore new territory than our predecessors.  Using the Internet is
just an extension of that spirit.
• Baby Boomers between the ages
of 45 and 64 spend a considerably higher amount of time online than
their predecessors – 123 minutes per day, which is the overall average
of a typical U.S. adult. And what are they doing online besides
shopping? They’re engaging in photography, computer graphics, desktop
publishing, and getting news, information, and entertainment updates as
well as social networking.
• Boomers hold a disproportionately high
amount of wealth per capita. One survey targeting the over 50 market
with $50,000 or more in income (the “graying and affluent”) found that
their numbers have increased from 17.0 million in 2004 to 22.3 million
during the past five years. Along with sheer numbers, so has their
buying power. Their Internet spending has increased from 50.2 percent
of surveyed households in 2004 to 65.2 percent.
• Consumption
habits of aging are also different from those of their predecessors  —
they (we) are living longer and achieving higher levels of education,
pursuing higher education in droves:  Among those age 50 plus, 56.4
percent already have at least one degree; more than 580,000 adults over
the age of 65 plan on taking college courses; and 165,000 of those are
over age 75.
• Boomer seniors are more active than previous
generations – 77% workout at least three days per week. walking and
cardiovascular equipment workouts (treadmills, etc.) top the list.

Passive recreation continues to be in demand for this demographic
group, with creative outlets seeing an increase in demand as well as
the increasing interest in technology among the demographic.
• Most astounding of all: 66% of grandparents have never celebrated Grandparents Day.

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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