KeepHealthCare.ORG – What Child Care Costs In U.S. As Birth Rate Hits 30-Year Low
The CDC reported in May that the United States birth rate dipped to a 30-year low in 2017 overall and for nearly all age groups of women under the age of 40. And it turns out a big reason adults are having fewer children is high child care costs, according to a new survey by Morning Consult conducted for The New York Times.
High child care costs was the top reason adults expected to have fewer kids than they considered ideal. It was also among the top reasons why adults didn’t want to have children or weren’t sure that they wanted to have kids.
The Consult survey did not include child care costs, but they are significant and can vary dramatically depending on the area. CNBC pointed to data from The Economic Policy Institute, that shows child care is the most expensive in Washington D.C. Those costs are just a fraction of how much a parent will spend on a child overall. According to CNBC, as of 2015, American parents spent an average of $233,610 per child from birth until the age of 17. High-income families spent more while lower-income families spent less on a child, according to CNBC.
Followed by D.C., child care costs were highest in Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York. Child care costs were lowest in Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana and Tennessee. (You can see how every state fares via CNBC, which broke down the data into a list.)
The Times survey asked respondents who expected to have fewer children than they considered ideal to choose from a number of reasons why they expected that outcome.
According to the survey, 64 percent of those respondents cited the cost of child care, making it the top-cited reason. Other top reasons included wanting more time for the children they have, “worried about the economy,” not being able to afford more children and “waited because of financial instability.”
The young adults who said they didn’t want to have children or weren’t sure cited wanting more leisure time and the fact that they haven’t found a partner yet as their top two reasons. Not being able to afford child care was the third most cited reason by this group.
Respondents in the survey were 1,858 men and women between the age of 20 and 45.
Read the full The New York Times/Morning Consult poll here.
Photo via Shutterstock
Get the Across America newsletterSubscribe