Friday, 4 October 2013

Grandparents As Caregivers


This demographic map took my interest as it surprised me as to how concentrated the higher percentage of grandparents as caregivers is in the southern states. Southern states such as Texas, New Mexico and Mississippi have the highest percentage of grandparents who live with and care for their grandchildren, Mississippi especially with 3.15% of grandparents responsible as caregivers to grandchildren. Although mostly concentrated in the south, there are a few hotspots in the North of America where this occurs, particularly South Dakota and Montana, where total percentage of caregivers is roughly 1.2%.

This concentration of caregivers in the south may be evident due to cultural norms, such as within African-American families, where a nuclear family set up may not be the typical way of life, beanpole families may be more present, where grandparents are heavily involved in the upbringing of a child. This may be due to separation of parents or parents working, making grandparents are reliable source of baby-sitting, and may even end up becoming the primary carer for their grandchildren.

I think it is also interesting to notice that Alaska has a high percentage of grandparents looking after grandchildren, with 1.66% doing so, which is roughly 5500 people of the population. This again may be due to a different way of life and cultural norms in Alaska. Similarly, although it may not look it on the map, Hawaii has a percentage of 2%, which is roughly 15,000 grandparents as caregivers. I feel this is a remarkably large number for such a small state.

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