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Cost of child care varies widely among states

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Deciding to have a child is arguably the biggest decision a person makes in her life.

With parenthood comes a profound responsibility that ranges from protecting to educating.

While countless joys accompany parenting, there are costs too — and they take effect even before birth.

Child care is an incredibly common expense for American families. According to a 2015 report published by ChildCare Aware of America, an advocacy group supporting access to high-quality child care, 11 million children under the age of 5 are in child care for an average of 36 hours per week in the United States. Though the arrangement can vary from in-home care to the aid of grandparents and neighbors, 35 percent of children receive center-based care at child care centers, preschools and Head Start programs.

The team at Credio wanted to see how child care costs vary for families in every U.S. state. To do this, they analyzed data from ChildCare Aware of America's “Parents and the High Cost of Child Care” report — which details the cost of full-time child care in centers — along with 2014 median household income from the U.S. Census Bureau, which includes income generated by all members of a household.

Depending on the state, the percentage of median household income spent on child care for two children annually ranged greatly, from below 20 percent to north of 45 percent. We ranked the 50 U.S. states by this metric, and included the percent of median household income for one child, the average cost of care for two children, as well as the cost of one, as well as median household income for each state.

#50. South Dakota

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 19.73%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,465
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 10.67%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,661
 
Median Household Income: $53,053

#49. Wyoming

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 22.22%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $12,374
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 11.75%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,541
 
Median Household Income: $55,690

#48. Tennessee

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 23.73%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,372
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.40%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,857
 
Median Household Income: $43,716

#47. Utah

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.06%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,253
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.63%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,641
 
Median Household Income: $63,383

#46. Arkansas

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.46%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,990
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.35%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,995
 
Median Household Income: $44,922

#45. Hawaii

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.70%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,592
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 11.63%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,280
 
Median Household Income: $71,223

#44. South Carolina

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.76%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $11,126
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 14.41%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,475
 
Median Household Income: $44,929

#43. Mississippi

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.83%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $8,819
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.58%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $4,822
 
Median Household Income: $35,521

#42. Alabama

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 24.85%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,508
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.33%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,637
 
Median Household Income: $42,278

#41. Louisiana

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.14%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $10,661
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.55%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $5,747
 
Median Household Income: $42,406

#40. Oklahoma

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.24%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $11,911
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 14.38%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,788
 
Median Household Income: $47,199

#39. North Dakota

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.90%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,728
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.53%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,217
 
Median Household Income: $60,730

#38. Nebraska

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 25.97%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $14,769
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.94%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,926
 
Median Household Income: $56,870

#37. Idaho

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 26.43%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $14,124
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 13.47%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,200
 
Median Household Income: $53,438

#36. Alaska

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 27.52%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $18,609
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.20%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $10,957
 
Median Household Income: $67,629

#35. Kentucky

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 27.56%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $11,793
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 14.71%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $6,294
 
Median Household Income: $42,786

#34. Virginia

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 27.84%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $18,415
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 15.81%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $10,458
 
Median Household Income: $66,155

#33. Georgia

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 28.54%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $14,144
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 15.43%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,644
 
Median Household Income: $49,555

#32. Texas

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 28.75%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,489
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.26%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,759
 
Median Household Income: $53,875

#31. New Hampshire

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 28.98%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,267
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.09%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,810
 
Median Household Income: $73,397

#30. Maryland

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 30.24%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $23,032
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.29%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $13,932
 
Median Household Income: $76,165

#29. Iowa

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 30.62%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,701
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 16.41%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,485
 
Median Household Income: $57,810

#28. Maine

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 31.68%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,381
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.39%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,512
 
Median Household Income: $51,710

#27. Missouri

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 31.68%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,940
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 15.24%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,632
 
Median Household Income: $56,630

#26. Michigan

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.01%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,645
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.00%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,882
 
Median Household Income: $52,005

#25. New Mexico

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.22%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,040
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 17.01%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,942
 
Median Household Income: $46,686

#24. New Jersey

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.31%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,080
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 17.68%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,534
 
Median Household Income: $65,243

#23. Indiana

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.62%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $15,678
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.56%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,918
 
Median Household Income: $48,060

#22. Ohio

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 32.87%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,318
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.08%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,977
 
Median Household Income: $49,644

#21. California

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.14%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $20,048
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.54%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,817
 
Median Household Income: $60,487

#20. Montana

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.24%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,984
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 17.73%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,062
 
Median Household Income: $51,102

#19. Delaware

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.50%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $19,268
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.12%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,000
 
Median Household Income: $57,522

#18. Pennsylvania

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 33.91%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $18,711
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.28%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $10,640
 
Median Household Income: $55,173

#17. Oregon

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.16%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $20,109
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.23%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,322
 
Median Household Income: $58,875

#16. Arizona

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.38%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,934
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.16%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,437
 
Median Household Income: $49,254

#15. West Virginia

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.74%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $13,739
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 20.04%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $7,926
 
Median Household Income: $39,552

#14. Vermont

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 34.99%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,240
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.56%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,270
 
Median Household Income: $60,708

#13. Florida

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 35.46%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,362
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 18.84%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $8,694
 
Median Household Income: $46,140

#12. Kansas

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 35.84%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $19,152
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 20.96%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,201
 
Median Household Income: $53,444

#11. North Carolina

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.01%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $16,847
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.78%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,255
 
Median Household Income: $46,784

#10. Nevada

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.03%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $17,970
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.75%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $9,852
 
Median Household Income: $49,875

#9. Connecticut

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.18%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $25,382
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.78%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $13,880
 
Median Household Income: $70,161

#8. Wisconsin

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 36.24%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $21,048
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 19.94%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $11,579
 
Median Household Income: $58,080

#7. Washington

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 37.79%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $22,321
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.56%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $12,733
 
Median Household Income: $59,068

#6. Colorado

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 37.80%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $23,036
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.59%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $13,154
 
Median Household Income: $60,940

#5. Minnesota

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 37.90%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $25,485
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.36%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $14,366
 
Median Household Income: $67,244

#4. Rhode Island

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 39.07%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $22,907
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 21.94%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $12,867
 
Median Household Income: $58,633

#3. Illinois

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 41.03%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $22,531
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 23.61%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $12,964
 
Median Household Income: $54,916

#2. Massachusetts

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 47.26%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $29,843
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 27.02%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $17,062
 
Median Household Income: $63,151

#1. New York

 

Percent of Median Household Income for Two Children: 47.59%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant and One 4 Year Old: $25,844
 
Percent of Median Household Income for One Child: 26.04%
 
Cost of Child Care for One Infant: $14,144
 
Median Household Income: $54,310

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