Grandparents play a bigger role in child-rearing

August 25, 2011 - 2:10 PM
Aging America Not Your Parent's Grandparents

Eileen and Doug Flockhart laugh as she holds a picture of their seventh grandchild near a wall full of family photos in their home in Exeter, N.H., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. America is swiftly becoming a granny state. Less frail and more engaged, today's grandparents are shunning retirement homes and stepping in more than ever to raise grandchildren while young adults struggle in the poor economy. Now making up 1 in 4 adults, grandparents are growing in numbers at twice the rate of the overall population, staying in the work force and sticking close to families, according to new census figures. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

WASHINGTON (AP) — America is swiftly becoming a granny state.

Today's grandparents are shunning retirement homes and stepping in more than ever to raise grandchildren while young adults struggle in the poor economy.

According to new census figures, grandparents now make up 1 in 4 adults, and they're growing at twice the rate of the overall population.

They're sticking close to family, too, if their grandkids aren't already living with them.

Grandparents in recent decades have often filled in for absent parents who were ill or battled addiction, or were sent to prison.

The latest trend of grandparent involvement is now being driven by the economy and the graying population.