Emma Roberts is of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German, and Swedish descent through her father.
Emma Roberts was born on February 10, 1991, in Rhinebeck, New York, the United States, to Kelly Cunningham and actor Eric Roberts. She comes from a family of distinguished actors. Her father, Eric Roberts, is an Oscar-nominated actor, while her aunt, Julia Roberts, is an Oscar-winner. Her parents separated when she was seven months old over accusations of domestic violence.
Roberts's family from her father's side has been in the entertainment field for a long time. Through her father's second marriage, she is the stepdaughter of Eliza Roberts and the step-granddaughter of David Rayfiel and Lila Garrett. Her paternal grandmother was acting coach Betty Lou Bredemus (1934–2015). Through her mother's marriage, she is the stepdaughter of musician Kelly Nickels. She has a maternal half-sister, Grace.
As a child, Roberts spent some time on the sets of movies with her aunt Julia Roberts. This helped Emma decide that she wanted to follow a career in acting, despite her mother's desire for Emma to have a normal childhood.