Average cost of raising a child hits $245K
NEW YORK – New parents listen up: The average cost of raising a child has reached nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
To raise a child born in 2013 to the age of 18, it will cost a middle-income couple just over $245,000, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s up $4,260, or almost 2%, from the year before.
Estimates can vary widely depending on where you live and how much you earn.
High-income families who live in the urban Northeast, for example, are projected to spend nearly $455,000 to raise their child to the age of 18, while low-income rural families will spend much less, an estimated $145,500, according to the report.
The figures are based on the cost of housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, education, child care and miscellaneous expenses, like haircuts and cell phones. But the estimates don’t include the cost of college — a big-ticket expense that keeps rising.
The good news: overall costs have grown more slowly in recent years thanks to low inflation, said economist Mark Lino, who has written the annual report for the USDA since 1987.
But many families are still having to do more with less. The country’s median income remains more than 8% below where it was before the recession, while child care and health care costs continue to grow faster than inflation.
Child care, in particular, is a huge burden — often costing as much as the family home.
In 2012, center-based care for one infant was greater than median rent payments in nearly half of the states, according to Child Care Aware of America’s most recent report.