Colorado’s Children & Economy

Facts About Colorado’s Children

Colorado ranks 21st on a composite measure of child well-being.

  • 18% of children live in poverty, including almost 161,00 children under six
  • 29% live in single parent families
  • Almost 256,000 live in families where the only parent or both parents work
  • 13% live in families where the household head dropped out of high school
  • 51% don’t attend preschool
  • 50+% of early care settings aren’t high quality
  • 61% of 4th graders aren’t reading at grade level
  • 25% of teens don’t graduate on time with a diploma
  • In 2010 17,300 teens dropped out of high school

Costs to Colorado’s Economy:

$7500 – $11,000 in grade retention and remediation costs per child over the course of the school years.

$280+ million in health care costs over the lifetimes of each class of dropouts.

$52 million a year in college remediation costs and lost earnings due to poorly prepared students and dropouts.

$29,000 (approximate average) to incarcerate one person for one year, excluding all other costs associated with the criminal justice system.

Gains to Colorado’s Economy from Higher Graduation Rates:

The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that, if half of the 17,300 students who dropped out in 2010 had graduated on time, these graduates would reap many benefits, including:

$119 million more earnings in a year than those without a diploma.

$88 million in additional spending in an average year.

$413 million in home purchases by mid-point in their careers.

From the increased earnings, spending, and investment of these potential graduates, Colorado’s economy would realize many benefits, including:

800 new jobs.

$151 million in growth by the mid-point of their careers.

$8.3 million in increased tax revenues on incomes and purchases annually.

Click here for data sources.