Survey Finds U.S. Grandparents Shatter Financial, Cultural Stereotypes

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 3:01pm
Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 2:03pm

The role that U.S. grandparents play is changing, according to a new survey by AARP. The organization’s latest study found from a cultural and financial perspective, grandparents are shattering stereotypes.

The last time AARP looked at the role grandparents play was in 2011 and a lot has changed.

Brittne Nelson-Kakulla is with AARP. She says the average age of grandparents is up from 48 to 50, and the youngest grandparent surveyed was 38. Nelson-Kakulla also described these grandparents as an economic force.

"Nearly all grandparents we found are providing some sort of financial support, so they’re really helping parents ease the cost of raising kids," she said.

She says grandparents spend about $2,600 a year on their grandchildren. That’s $179 billion each year.

Conversely, being a grandparent has health benefits

"Grandparents are kind of the elixir of life. Many grandparents say that their grandkids and the relationship with their grandkids is good for their mental wellbeing, their physical wellbeing and spiritually," she said.

The study also found that 87 percent of grandparents said they would support an LGBT grandchild and when it comes to gender issues, 96 percent said girls should be raised to be strong, independent women. It also found that families are much more diverse now. Nelson-Kakulla says 1 in 3 grandparents have a grandchild who is a different race or ethnicity.

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