Aug. 19, 2014
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study, a middle-income family can expect to spend $245,340 (or $304,480 adjusted for estimated inflation) in raising a child born last year to age 18. The figure includes food, housing, childcare, education and related expenses.
USDA officials noted that the total cost represents a 1.8 percent increase compared to the estimate for 2012. In 1960 the expense for raising a child was $25,230 ($198,560 measured in 2013 dollars).
For middle-income families, housing costs represent the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging 30 percent of the total cost. The combination of child care and education constituted the second largest expense at 18 percent, followed by food, which accounted for 16 percent of the total cost. Overall costs are lower in the urban South ($230,610) and rural areas ($193,590).
“In today’s economy, it’s important to be prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future,” said USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “In addition to giving families with children an indication of expenses they might want to be prepared for, the report is a critical resource for state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments.”
The report is available at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/ExpendituresonChildrenbyFamilies.htm.