- Housing is the biggest expense for parents. The cost of housing a child from birth through age 17 was $66,240 in 2015, 6 percent more than the $62,630 of 1960.
- Food is the second largest expense of childrearing. In 2015 this cost was $41,400—15 percent less than the $48,490 of 1960.
- Child care and education is the third largest childrearing expense for parents today. Not so in 1960. The $38,040 cost of child care for 2015 parents is over eight times more than the $4,040 spent by parents in 1960.
- Transportation is the fourth largest expense of childrearing for parents in 2015, with $35,490 spent on transportation from birth through age 17—10 percent more than the $32,320 cost in 1960.
- Health care is the fifth largest expense of childrearing for parents in 2015. The $21,720 needed for a child's health care is nearly triple the $8,080 of 1960.
- Clothing expenses for children have fallen steeply since 1960. In 2015, the cost of clothing a child from birth through age 17 was $13,260— 40 percent less than the $22,220 of 1960, after adjusting for inflation.
- Miscellaneous expenses include personal care products and services, entertainment, and reading material. In 2015, the cost of these expenses for a child from birth through age 17 was $17,460, 28 percent less than the $24,240 of 1960.
Source: USDA, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2015