Who are we talking about when we talk about the Caring Majority? - Caring Across Generations

Who are we talking about when we talk about the Caring Majority?

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Who are we talking about when we talk about the Caring Majority?

The coronavirus has changed the face of our country, putting many cities and states on lockdown so that we can all do our part to keep those most at risk of getting seriously ill from the coronavirus – older adults and people with underlying conditions – collectively safe. It’s clear: we are now a nation of family caregivers.

But for many, being overwhelmed daily – struggling to find the paid leave you need or feasible work-from-home options, securing accessible and dependable childcare you can afford, or facing huge out-of-pocket costs of testing and care for aging loved ones – is the norm, not the exception.

By highlighting who the Caring Majority is, we hope to bring attention to the fact that half of the US population is in an active caregiving relationship – a number that has certainly grown because of this new pandemic. Now is the time to demand that we value care, these relationships, and the people in them, by changing our policies and culture to better support all of us in moments of crisis, both personal and global – so that we can all care for each other, live well, and age with dignity now and into the future.

Children age 5 and under: 23.1 million
Parents of children age 12 and under: 47.4 million
Childcare workers: 983,000
Number of family caregivers for an adult: 43.5 million
Number of professional care workers: 4.31 million
Number of people over 65 who need care: 36.4 million
Number of people with disabilities who need assistance: 24.2 million
Number of Sandwich Generation caregivers: 11 million

Total: 168.9 million, 52% of the US population

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Surprised? Here’s how we came up with the math:

Children age 5 and under: 23.1 million

Parents of children age 12 and under: 47.4 million (see table A3)

Childcare workers: 983,000

Number of family caregivers for an adult: 43.5 million

Number of professional care workers: 4.31 million

Number of people over 65 who need care: 36.4 million

Number of people with disabilities who need assistance: 24.2 million

Number of Sandwich Generation caregivers: 11 million

  • We actually subtracted this number for the total, because it represents the overlap between parents and family caregivers for an adult.

US Population: 327 million

One last note: This math does not account for overlap between care workers who are also family caregivers and/or caring for children, but even if all care workers are also family caregivers and/or parents, the Caring Majority is still 50.3% of the population.