Children Don’t Come Cheap: Cost of Raising One Hits $233,610
(Link): Raising kids isn’t cheap — and the annual cost of a child is only going up by J. Dennin
Wondering if you can afford to have a kid? Here’s some sobering news.
Children born in 2015 will cost about $380 more per year to raise than kids born in 2014, according to the Department of Agriculture’s latest report on the cost of raising a child in the United States, released Monday.
Overall, families spend between $12,350 and $13,900 annually on their kids, at least when you’re talking married couples with two kids in the middle third of income bands, the report found.
That puts the total cost of getting the little tyke from to age 17 at nearly $234,000 — again depending on the total number of kids you have and your family’s household income.
Children keep getting more expensive to raise — fashion is pricier and so are doctor visits and day care, according to the U.S. government.
At least food’s still relatively cheap.
The cost for a middle-income family to raise a child born in 2015 to age 18 is $233,610, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, the Department of Agriculture said Monday. Housing was the largest expense, at 29 percent of the cost.
Wealthier families, who live in costlier neighborhoods and are more likely to use day care, spend more than twice as much on their children as poorer households.
The USDA has prepared the report almost every year since 1960. It tracks seven categories of spending, including housing, transportation and clothing, and is used to help courts and government agencies estimate child-support costs. It excludes payments for college, as well as financial contributions from sources other than parents, including government aid.
The cost of child-raising has outpaced inflation because of rising health-care costs and additional money spent on clothing, which tends to fluctuate based on fashion trends. Lower projected energy costs, meanwhile, are giving parents a break on transportation expenses, notably driving.
One good piece of news for parents: This year’s increase is below the historic average annual increase of 4.3 percent.
“Those trips you made to soccer games, driving children around, became cheaper,” Mark Lino, the USDA economist who wrote the report, said in a telephone call with reporters. “Costs for child-care and education have really gone up among upper-income groups.”