Increasingly Indispensable Grandparents

Child shows Indian grandfather a phone and Costa Rica grandmother reads to a child

The world has a record-breaking number of grandparents, representing almost 20 percent of the global population. “Today’s grandparents play vital and increasingly indispensable roles in modern family life, contributing to the well-being of generations succeeding them,” explains Joseph Chamie. “During the past half-century, however, their roles have evolved as result of demographic, economic, social and technological changes taking place worldwide.” The proportion of grandparents varies widely among countries with higher numbers of these cherished family members in countries with longer life expectancies and lower fertility rates. For cultural and economic reasons, multi-generation households are becoming more common after a steady decline since the mid-20th century. Such living arrangements allow mutual support, with grandparents helping with childcare and adult children and grandchildren providing elder care. – YaleGlobal