34 states where child care costs more than college tuition 

The annual expense of child care for an infant exceeds the annual cost of in-state tuition at a public four-year university in 34 states, according to the most recent data from the Economic Policy Institute. 

At this point in the pandemic, healthcare is among the top three industries when it comes to people quitting or changing jobs. The quality and cost of child care is top of mind for healthcare decision-makers given its strength as a determining factor to push people from the U.S. labor force. Mothers continue to shoulder the majority of family caregiving responsibilities, making child care a heavier tip of the scale for healthcare, where women make up the majority of the front-line workforce (66 percent) and managers (59 percent), according to research from McKinsey. 

Infant care expenses exceed college tuition in 34 states and Washington, D.C. Below is each state ranked by how much infant care costs exceed or compare to the cost of tuition at a four-year public university, along with the median family income in each state and infant care as a share of income. 

 

Washington, D.C.

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 421.2 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $24,243

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $5,756

Median family income: $84,892

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 28.6 percent

 

Wyoming

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 239.6 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $10,647

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $4,443

Median family income: $71,611

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 14.9 percent

 

Washington

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 213.1 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $14,554

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $6,830

Median family income: $72,124

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 20.2 percent

 

California

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 211.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $16,945

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,020

Median family income: $68,034

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 24.9 percent

 

Florida

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 207.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,238

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $4,455

Median family income: $53,859

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 17.2 percent

 

New York

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 193.9 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $15,394

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,938

Median family income: $69,651

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 22.1 percent

 

Nevada

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 192.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $11,408

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $5,920

Median family income: $57,057

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 20 percent

 

Alaska

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 167.8 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,120

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,221

Median family income: $71,746

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16.9 percent 

 

Maryland

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 165.1 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $15,335

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,289

Median family income: $87,119

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 17.6 percent

 

Massachusetts

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 163.7 percent 

Average annual cost of infant care: $20,913

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $12,778

Median family income: $92,108

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 22.7 percent

 

Colorado

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 160.6 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $15,325

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,540

Median family income: $73,048

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 21 percent

 

Nebraska

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 153.5 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,571

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,188

Median family income: $65,534

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 19.2 percent

 

Utah

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 151.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,945

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $6,557

Median family income: $71,094

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 14 percent

 

Wisconsin

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 148.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,567

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,475

Median family income: $67,786

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 18.5 percent

 

Minnesota

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 143.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $16,087

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $11,226

Median family income: $75,756

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 21.2 percent

 

Hawaii

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 141.4 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $13,731

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,709

Median family income: $85,854

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16 percent

 

Montana

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 140.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,518

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $6,783

Median family income: $57,815

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16.5 percent

 

Indiana

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 139.5 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,612

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,038

Median family income: $57,254

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 22 percent

 

Oregon

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 131.4 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $13,616

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $10,363

Median family income: $61,447

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 22.2 percent

 

North Carolina

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 128.9 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,480

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,354

Median family income: $53,249

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 17.8 percent

 

Kansas

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 128.4 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $11,222

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,737

Median family income: $61,914

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 18.1 percent

 

New Mexico

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 128.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $8,617

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $6,718

Median family income: $47,115

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 18.3 percent

 

Connecticut

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 125.5 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $15,501

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $12,355

Median family income: $84,824

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 18.3 percent 

 

Missouri

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 119.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $10,041

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,387

Median family income: $58,329

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 17.2 percent

 

Georgia

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 118.4 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $8,530

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,206

Median family income: $55,117

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 15.5 percent

 

Iowa

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 118.4 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $10,378

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,766 

Median family income: $67,854

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 15.3 percent

 

North Dakota

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 118.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,091

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,687

Median family income: $72,213

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 12.6 percent

 

West Virginia

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 114.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $8,736

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,619

Median family income: $51,210

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 17.1 percent

 

Oklahoma

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 112.5 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $8,576

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,623

Median family income: $53,061

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16.2 percent

 

Rhode Island

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 111.9 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $13,696

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $12,239

Median family income: $66,928

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 20.5 percent

 

Virginia

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 111.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $14,063

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $12,637

Median family income: $77,325

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 18.2 percent

 

Delaware

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 110.2 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $11,021

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,999

Median family income: $68,827

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16 percent

 

Texas

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 107.8 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,324

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,645

Median family income: $59,440

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 15.7 percent

 

Arizona

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 103.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $10,948

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $10,557

Median family income: $55,386

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 19.8 percent 

 

Idaho

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 103.1 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $7,474

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,247

Median family income: $56,056

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 13.3 percent

 

Illinois

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 98.8 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $13,802

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $13,971

Median family income: $68,751

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 20.1 percent

 

Maine

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 97.8 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,449

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,664

Median family income: $62,744

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 15.1 percent

 

Ohio

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 96.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $9,697

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $10,026

Median family income: $57,283

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16.9 percent

 

New Jersey

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 95.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,988

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $13,633

Median family income: $88,898

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 14.6 percent

 

Tennessee

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 91.2 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $8,732

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,574

Median family income: $52,325

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 16.7 percent

 

Michigan

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 87.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $10,861

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $12,435

Median family income: $57,054 

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 19 percent

 

Louisiana

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 84.3 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $7,724

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,165

Median family income: $53,042

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 14.6 percent

 

Arkansas

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 84.2 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $6,890

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,187

Median family income: $47,126

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 14.6 percent 

 

Pennsylvania

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 81.5 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $11,842

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $14,534

Median family income: $67,828

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 17.5 percent

 

New Hampshire

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 80.2 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,791

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $15,949

Median family income: $83,565

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 15.3 percent

 

Vermont

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 79.6 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $12,812

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $16,103

Median family income: $69,962

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 18.3 percent

 

South Dakota

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 76.2 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $6,511

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $8,540

Median family income: $63,730

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 10.2 percent

 

Mississippi

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 68.1 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $5,436

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $7,980

Median family income: $46,656

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 11.7 percent

 

Kentucky

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 61.8 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $6,411

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $10,365

Median family income: $53,944

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 11.9 percent

 

Alabama

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 61.1 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $6,001

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $9,827

Median family income: $50,335

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 11.9 percent 

 

South Carolina

Infant care costs as a share of public college tuition: 55.7 percent

Average annual cost of infant care: $7,007

In-state tuition for four-year public college: $12,579

Median family income: $51,996

Infant care costs as a share of median family income: 13.5 percent



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