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    « Introducing Grilled Grandma Donna | Main | Shop early for gifts—plus 10 more things I didn't do in 2011 »

    15 things you may not know about today's grandparents

    • The majority of today’s grandparents—53% of grandmothers and 54% of grandfathers—are Baby Boomers under age 65.

    • The average age of becoming a grandparent in the United States is 48.

    • 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.

    • The number of grandparents is growing at twice the overall population growth rate.

    • A majority of those with grandchildren are women, in part because on average women age 45+ live approximately seven years longer than men. At the time the 2010 Census was conducted, there were about 124 grandmothers for every 100 grandfathers.

    • Today’s grandparents are more likely to be college graduates (37%) and fully employed than at any time in the past.

    • The grandparent-age share of the nation's income is 60%.

    • The mean annual income of grandparent-age households was $68,500—about $500 above the mean income for all U.S. households. Among all grandparent-age households, about one-in-four had an annual income of $90,000 or more.

    • They spend $52 billion a year on their grandkids.

    • There are an estimated 4.5 million grandparentheaded households that include one or more of their grandchildren. That means approximately one in every nine (11%) grandparent households includes at least one grandchild.

    • Three-quarters of grandparents are online. Forty-five percent are on social networks, and six percent have started a blog.

    • 70 percent of grandparents see their grandchildren at least once a week.

    • Forty-three percent exercise or play sports.

    • Thirty-eight percent report having sex at least twice a week.

    • Ten percent have a tattoo.

    Sources: US Census Bureau, MetLife Mature Market Institute,

    Today's question:

    What on the list surprises you...and what would you like to add?

    This post also published as a guest post on Family Home and Life.

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    Reader Comments (20)

    Kudos, Lisa!!! Thank you for this post. Marketers aren't just missing the boat they haven't even discovered the dock.

    I'm familiar with all on the list since I conducted much research prior to opening our store...except the tattoo stats, that one IS new to me but not surprising. How could I be surprised when one of our bestsellers is our Grandma's Sippy Cup wine glass?!

    I could add dozens of fun facts (& the erroneous stereotypes & frustration I've come up against in our wholesale search for Grandparents gifts), but I'm trying to learn to be brief on Grandma's Briefs...

    Think I might just print this page out for the next time a rep tries to sell me a rocking chair. Most Grandparents these days don't have time to sit down at all. Awesome post.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNonnie Kelly

    I fit right in to a lot of these statistics......and I wouldn't mind getting a tattoo.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeanie

    Woohoo I am the 6%!

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegryansmom

    My apologies. That didn't end up being 'brief' at all. argghhh. I'll keep trying!

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNonnie Kelly

    Nonnie Kelly: Don't you dare be brief. That's not you. I love your comments and if you go brief on me, I'll have to hunt you down and...I don't something (that I can't think of at the moment since I've not yet had coffee)!

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Unlike Nonnie Kelly (I'm Nonnie Kelly in real life) I've done no research re: grandparents so nearly everything on your list is news to me. There really is no group (demographic) that outshines the grand-parent bunch, huh?
    I did about fall off my chair to read that so many have tattoos; even though I'm grandma so many times and great-grandma even, I'm not going to get any cotton-picken' tattoo. Ever.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    I'm not surprised at all.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpammeey

    The one thing on the list that really surprised me was that 70% of grandparents get to see their grandkids once a week. I really thought I was one of the very lucky few and that most were long distance grandparents. I'm really glad that is not the case!

    And I am very glad to be one of the 6%, too! I think all grandmas should blog! Such an awesome way to capture the memories and to share them with family and friends.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    I loved your post today. I personally know of 6 grandma's that have at least one tattoo....I think it's because grandmas are younger and more hip these days. I 'm even thinking of getting a tattoo!

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E.

    My favorite stats:75% are online, 6% have blogs (hooray for us!), 43% exercise. Worrisome stat: only 38% are having sex twice a week. We need to improve that stat! OK, I'm off to do Christmas shopping and shore up the spending-on-the-grandkids stat.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrandmother

    all I can say is those are some lucky grandkids :)

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkaye

    Hey, we are the 6%! I've been thinking along these lines for years! Where is the marketing to grandparents? The age thing is interesting, although not really surprising since lots of my friends are grandparents, and we're in our latter 40s. No tattoos though. Our grandkids will be disappointed if they hear somebody else's grandparents have tattoos and we don't.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWebgrandma

    Thanks for the interesting post Lisa.

    It never fails to amaze me how many of us are raising our grandchildren 24/7. Such hard work, with little or no recognition from Governments. I consider us the forgotten class of society.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak

    Wow, I'm not in a whole lot of those percentages. No tattoo and I'm not happy about that sex statistic! LOL

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa Sonoda

    I'm surprised that the number of grandparents with tattoos isn't higher. And I'm surprised that so many grandparents blog.

    November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrams

    Very interesting Lisa. I think Grandparents are getting younger, I was the last of all my friends to become a gran and do wish it had happened a few years ago as I want as much time as possible being fit enough to play with them. Having grandchildren is an added incentive to keep the body fit and the brain active.

    November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Mackle

    Gotta admit that everyone getting a tatt surprises me a bit. What is it with all the ink?

    November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Lunn

    i wish advertisers would pay more attention to grandparents! Your statistics prove we still have life left in us and spend money...LOL!

    November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat

    Things have changed a lot since I had a grandma. I wonder what they would have thought of these statistics.

    October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJinjer

    I loved reading this post. I, too, am a grandma and knew we are not the same as our grandma. Was really refreshing to read this and I am reading saying, "yes, I know that"!!!

    March 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMinnesota Farm Living

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