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Many Kids Live With Grandparents

July 1, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Nearly 5.5 American million children live with their grandparents, the Census Bureau reports.

``It’s not like grandparents are going, `Oh, God, I want to raise another family _ let me go out and grab some kids.′ It’s definitely in response to a need,″ said Margaret Hollidge, who runs the American Association of Retired Persons’ Grandparent Information Center.

The Census’ report released today is the first on homes with grandparents and grandchildren living together. Among its findings:

_About 5,435,000 children, 7.7 percent of America’s total, lived with a grandparent in 1997.

_Three-quarters of these kids were living in homes owned or rented by the grandparent; the rest lived in homes maintained by their parents.

_Children living with their grandparents were more likely to have a series of disadvantages: More than one in four was poor, one in three lacked health insurance and more than half were on some type of public assistance.

_Without a parent living with grandparents, too, it was worse: two-thirds of the kids were poor.

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