Here’s a terrific new report from Metlife in the USA which you can download free here. The MetLife Report on American Grandparents
New Insights for a New Generation of Grandparents
The key findings reveal the power of this group:
- The numbers of grandparents are at record highs and still growing at more than twice the overall population growth rate. There were an estimated 65 million grandmothers and grandfathers in 2010. By 2020, they are projected to reach 80 million, at which time they will be nearly one-in-three adults.
- A majority of grandparents today are Baby Boomers ages 45 to 64 years old. As a result, today’s grandparents are more likely to be college graduates and fully employed than at any time in the past.
- About one in every ten households headed by someone who is a grandparent has at least one grandchild living with them. Part of the reason for this is the recession-driven high unemployment among their grandchildren’s parents.
- About one-in-five grandparents are African-American, Hispanic, or Asian compared to two-in-five young adults, indicating that grandparents will become more diverse in the future.
- In the past decade, many grandparents have seen substantial and real increases in their household income while their offspring have fallen behind. The percentage of inflation-adjusted household income that accrued to households ages 55 or older has risen from 28% to 34%, which meant a real income increase for those households of $659 billion. During that same decade, the total real income of households ages 25 to 44 (most of whom were the adult children of those ages 55 or older) declined from 43% to 36%, which meant a real aggregate income loss of $312 billion.
- Despite wide economic variation, the economic impact of a record number of relatively affluent grandparents is both substantial and growing rapidly. Consumer spending by households ages 55 or older, the vast majority of which are grandparents, has been rising at rates well above inflation and faster by far than any other age category.
- Grandparent spending on child-specific items has increased dramatically between 1999 and 2009. In 2009, households ages 55 or older spent $7.6 billion on infant food, equipment and clothing, toys, games, and tricycles, a 71% increase since 1999. They also spent $2.43 billion on primary and secondary school tuition and supplies, almost three times more than was spent in 1999.