Single Indiana mothers second in U.S. for highest childcare expenditures to earnings

News analysis website Vox reports single Indiana mothers spend 27 percent of their income on childcare. Indiana’s numbers are the second highest in the U.S.

Posted on June 21, 2014 at 7:20 a.m.

Single Indiana mothers spend more than a quarter of their income on their children, and Vox reports they are only second in childcare spending to single mothers in Delaware.

A recent report from The Hamilton Project compares the median out-of-pocket childcare expenses to the median earnings of single mothers in different states. It states single Indiana mothers spend at least 27 percent of their income on childcare expenses, and single Delaware mothers spend at least 28 percent.

Vox adds the cost of childcare has increased at a faster rate than inflation. Prices have grown by 60 percent economy-wide during the last 20 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost of childcare and nursery schools has increased by more than 120 percent.

One theory suggests that single and married mothers have to work less if they are unable to find affordable childcare, Vox reports. The cost of childcare may drive some women from full- to part-time work.

Pew Research found the number of stay-at-home moms rose from a low of 23 percent in 1999 to 29 percent in 2012. The report categorizes stay-at-home mothers as those who stay at home in order to “care for their families, but also those who are at home because they are unable to find work, are disabled or are enrolled in school.”

The report suggests the uptick in recent years may have been the result of a number of demographic, economic and societal factors. These factors include lower women’s labor force participation and continued ambivalence about the impact working mothers have on young children.

To see a map that shows how other states compared to Indiana, visit Vox.


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