Friday, August 16, 2013

Children Cost 23% More

Raising a child costs 23 percent more today than in 1960, according to the USDA. The average middle-income married couple can expect to spend $13,000 to $15,000 per year raising a child to age 18, for a total expenditure of $241,080. This is up from $195,690 in 1960, after adjusting for inflation. The cost estimate includes housing, clothing, food, transportation, health care, and child care/education. It excludes the cost of college.

Some of the expense of raising a child has declined over the decades. Food costs less in 2012 than in 1960, and so does clothing. But health care costs have climbed from 4 to 8 percent of the total cost of raising a child, and child care/education costs have grown even more as mothers went to work. In 2012, child care/education accounted for 18 percent of the total cost of raising a child, making it the second largest expense of childrearing after housing.

Source: USDA, Expenditures on Children by Families

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