Raising children just got a whole lot more expensive! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report, “Expenditures on Children by Families,” a child born in 2011 is going to cost a middle-class family about $234,900 – and that’s before sending them off to college!
That’s also a 3.5 percent increase from 2010. The estimate released on Thursday includes housing, child care, education, food, transportation, clothing, and other necessities (see below). Housing was the biggest expense, followed by child care and education, which has the biggest increase over the years. According to MSNBC, food expenditures have declined to 16 percent of income from 24 percent in 1960, while the cost of child care and education has soared to 18 percent of income from 2 percent. Parents want the best possible education for their children, especially now that college is becoming increasingly competitive – and expensive.
Families living in the urban Northeast tend to have the highest child-rearing expenses, followed by those in the urban West and the urban Midwest. Families living in the urban South and rural areas face the lowest costs.
Of course, the cost of raising a child also depends on the resources available to the parents. According to the USDA’s calculations:
- For households with annual income less than $59,410, annual expenses per child range from $8,760 to $9,970 on average, depending on age of the child.
- For households with income of up to $102,870, the annual cost is about $12,290 to $14,320.
- For households with income over $102,870, the cost per child averages out at $20,420 to $24,510.
See how raising a child today compares to 1960 below!