Raising a Child in the U.S. Tops $245,000
In its annual “Cost of Raising a Child” report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that an average middle-income family in the United States can expect to spend about $245,000 over 18 years to raise a child born in 2013.
The government estimate reflected food, housing, child care, education and other expenses which were up close to 1.8 percent compared to 2012.When adjusted for anticipated inflation, child-rearing costs will be closer to $305,000 up to the age of 18.
Housing is the single largest cost, averaging 30% of the total, followed by child care and education at 18% and food at 16%.Expenses vary by location and were lower in the urban South and in rural areas with the highest being in the urban Northeast at almost $282,500.
Not included in the report were costs associated with pregnancy or expenses that occur after the age of 18 such as higher education.
For purposes of the data, “middle-income” parents were defined as having an annual income between $61,530 and $106,540, the middle third of the income distribution for a two-parent family with children.
Child-raising costs have risen faster than inflation since the report was first compiled in 1960 which a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 to raise a child. That would equal $198,560 in 2013 dollars. Since then, healthcare spending has doubles as a percentage of total child rearing costs and other costs such as child care were also negligible in 1960.
The study showed that expenses per child fall in larger families, with three or more children spending 22% less per child than families with two children.