As our economy sank, the number of children being raised by their grandparents rose. A Pew Research Center analysis of census data found that 2.9 million American kids are being raised by grandma and grandpa—up 16% from 2000. But one period in that decade, 2007 to 2008, saw a 6% surge. Though the arrangements can come about due to everything from incarceration to teen pregnancy to overseas deployment, "clearly something was going on" in those years, says a Pew researcher. "We don't have the data to explicitly state that this is related to recession, but it's a very educated guess."
The AP also notes that while phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren has been proportionally higher among blacks and Hispanics than among whites, the sharpest rise from 2007 to 2008 was among whites, with a 9% jump. (Read more grandparents stories.)