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Which States Use the Most Paid Child Care?

There is surprisingly little data on the topic. We provided an answer to this question in completing a recent project on child care at the state level for the Committee for Economic Development (ced.org). What did we find?

At the state level, enrollment in paid care varies from a low of 15.9 percent in both Utah and West Virginia to a high of 37.2 percent in North DakotaThirty states have a share of children in paid care between 20 percent and 28 percent, a fairly narrow range extending roughly 4 percentage points above and below the 23.8 percent national share. Ten states have a share below 20 percent, while ten have a share above 28 percent.

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The five states with the lowest rates of paid care include Utah (15.9 percent), West Virginia (15.9 percent), New Mexico (17.0 percent), Arizona (18.5 percent), and Hawaii (18.8 percent). Other states use a significantly higher share of paid care, often at more than twice the rate of the lowest usage states.

The highest overall usage rates are found in North Dakota (37.2 percent), South Dakota (36.9 percent), Nebraska (36.2 percent), Minnesota (35.8 percent), Vermont (34.0 percent), and Iowa (32.0 percent). Most of these states are located in the upper Midwest and generally have much-higher-than-average usage rates for both preschool and school-age children.

The table below details estimates of the share of children ages 14 and under in paid child care in each state, including a breakout of the totals for both preschool and school-age children.

Usage rates for preschool children ages 4 and under are the most variable across the states. While the national share of preschool children in paid care is 31.4 percent, state rates range from a low of 8.1 percent in Maine (only about one in twelve) to a high of 51.1 percent in North Dakota (one of every two).

For the 20.5 percent of school-age children (ages 5 to 14) in paid care nationally in the CPS survey, usage rates fall within a much narrower range, from a low of 14.1 percent in Maine to a high of 30.8 percent in South Dakota.

Children Ages 14 and Under in Paid Child Care by State
Region Total Children of Child Care Age Children In Paid Child Care Share in Paid Child Care
Total Ages 0-4 Ages 5-14 Total Ages 0-4 Ages 5-14 Total Ages 0-4 Ages 5-14
United States 61,089,123 19,868,088 41,221,035 13,857,336 5,954,524 8,028,735 23.8% 31.4% 20.5%
Alabama 921,016 297,104 623,912 185,677 76,285 110,535 20.2% 25.7% 17.7%
Alaska 157,878 55,392 102,486 37,489 15,344 22,534 23.7% 27.7% 22.0%
Arizona 1,347,565 431,758 915,807 249,556 106,246 146,332 18.5% 24.6% 16.0%
Arkansas 591,324 192,916 398,408 116,426 53,130 62,971 19.7% 27.5% 15.8%
California 7,598,091 2,507,536 5,090,555 1,523,458 610,783 922,476 20.1% 24.4% 18.1%
Colorado 1,038,870 335,136 703,734 250,923 108,820 145,429 24.2% 32.5% 20.7%
Connecticut 639,273 191,937 447,336 170,047 68,518 102,216 26.6% 35.7% 22.8%
Delaware 170,244 56,319 113,925 37,465 15,820 21,916 22.0% 28.1% 19.2%
Dist. of Columbia 96,084 40,967 55,117 30,450 15,388 15,332 31.7% 37.6% 27.8%
Florida 3,324,369 1,078,313 2,246,056 721,768 304,708 428,820 21.7% 28.3% 19.1%
Georgia 2,077,631 668,508 1,409,123 451,323 198,336 259,786 21.7% 29.7% 18.4%
Hawaii 259,190 90,770 168,420 48,630 21,181 27,865 18.8% 23.3% 16.5%
Idaho 357,803 113,487 244,316 71,097 26,705 44,503 19.9% 23.5% 18.2%
Illinois 2,499,834 799,019 1,700,815 554,269 239,002 319,761 22.2% 29.9% 18.8%
Indiana 1,315,506 420,815 894,691 281,341 118,225 166,397 21.4% 28.1% 18.6%
Iowa 602,101 194,726 407,375 192,930 83,130 110,189 32.0% 42.7% 27.0%
Kansas 605,708 200,406 405,302 157,306 72,164 85,763 26.0% 36.0% 21.2%
Kentucky 844,643 274,874 569,769 168,460 74,013 94,586 19.9% 26.9% 16.6%
Louisiana 930,829 308,217 622,612 203,991 102,672 103,721 21.9% 33.3% 16.7%
Maine 213,002 65,014 147,988 59,400 24,002 35,263 27.9% 36.9% 23.8%
Maryland 1,115,466 367,210 748,256 327,634 135,398 195,274 29.4% 36.9% 26.1%
Massachusetts 1,144,025 365,546 778,479 309,114 142,587 169,136 27.0% 39.0% 21.7%
Michigan 1,838,782 572,768 1,266,014 428,273 177,996 255,327 23.3% 31.1% 20.2%
Minnesota 1,066,261 347,567 718,694 381,357 163,198 217,894 35.8% 47.0% 30.3%
Mississippi 614,976 198,426 416,550 138,660 61,738 78,332 22.5% 31.1% 18.8%
Missouri 1,160,974 376,837 784,137 308,687 139,097 173,266 26.6% 36.9% 22.1%
Montana 186,272 61,272 125,000 41,899 18,559 23,671 22.5% 30.3% 18.9%
Nebraska 390,469 130,160 260,309 141,170 61,661 79,208 36.2% 47.4% 30.4%
Nevada 550,411 178,194 372,217 108,350 45,083 62,921 19.7% 25.3% 16.9%
New Hampshire 219,370 65,661 153,709 55,870 23,569 32,488 25.5% 35.9% 21.1%
New Jersey 1,666,413 533,235 1,133,178 358,559 156,257 208,212 21.5% 29.3% 18.4%
New Mexico 424,415 138,724 285,691 72,319 32,030 41,744 17.0% 23.1% 14.6%
New York 3,502,059 1,173,627 2,328,432 675,163 318,838 368,047 19.3% 27.2% 15.8%
North Carolina 1,907,861 612,295 1,295,566 449,998 201,593 255,942 23.6% 32.9% 19.8%
North Dakota 136,970 48,767 88,203 50,935 24,942 26,493 37.2% 51.1% 30.0%
Ohio 2,185,335 690,821 1,494,514 543,521 224,995 322,809 24.9% 32.6% 21.6%
Oklahoma 794,571 264,479 530,092 164,800 71,494 93,997 20.7% 27.0% 17.7%
Oregon 710,576 230,022 480,554 200,885 76,181 125,987 28.3% 33.1% 26.2%
Pennsylvania 2,234,011 715,904 1,518,107 520,530 219,799 306,286 23.3% 30.7% 20.2%
Rhode Island 175,066 54,632 120,434 44,411 16,344 28,366 25.4% 29.9% 23.6%
South Carolina 901,182 292,316 608,866 183,658 83,337 100,957 20.4% 28.5% 16.6%
South Dakota 174,688 59,957 114,731 64,387 29,104 35,336 36.9% 48.5% 30.8%
Tennessee 1,240,428 399,677 840,751 262,424 120,050 143,918 21.2% 30.0% 17.1%
Texas 5,900,424 1,940,825 3,959,599 1,220,505 529,341 702,745 20.7% 27.3% 17.7%
Utah 759,465 253,867 505,598 120,690 42,445 78,304 15.9% 16.7% 15.5%
Vermont 99,777 30,478 69,299 33,970 14,581 19,571 34.0% 47.8% 28.2%
Virginia 1,555,039 512,115 1,042,924 402,039 172,491 232,949 25.9% 33.7% 22.3%
Washington 1,328,817 444,620 884,197 352,085 142,509 210,677 26.5% 32.1% 23.8%
West Virginia 316,000 102,194 213,806 50,351 20,222 30,162 15.9% 19.8% 14.1%
Wisconsin 1,082,722 344,331 738,391 302,780 141,665 164,969 28.0% 41.1% 22.3%
Wyoming 115,337 38,347 76,990 30,307 12,953 17,353 26.3% 33.8% 22.5%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey – March Supplement (2010-2014).

 

Notes: State shares are estimated using the percentage of children ages 0-4 and 5-14 reported as participating in paid child care in the Current Population Survey based on a five-year average share in the 2010-2014 period.

By | 2016-02-09T12:53:05+00:00 February 9th, 2016|Graphic, Maps, Pic of the Week, Research, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Which States Use the Most Paid Child Care?

About the Author:

Mark C. Snead is President and Economist at RegionTrack.