This week the USDA released its annual report Expenditures on Children and Families. It’s more widely known as “the cost to raise a child” report. If you, like us, had a child in 2013, you might want to sit down. The report found the average cost to raise a child from birth to the age of 18 has hit $254,340. (Gasp!)
Items included in the report are, “food, housing, childcare and education, and other child-rearing expenses up to age 18.” However, college and pregnancy costs are not included in that tally. Overall, this year’s breakdown is 1.8% higher than 2012.
“Housing was the largest child-rearing expense both then and now. Health care expenses for a child have doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs during that time.”
Location also played a role in the cost calculation. With the highest costs in the Northeast ($282,480) and the lowest in the urban South ($230,610). Below is a great breakdown from the USDA on various costs.
If you have multiple children you do start seeing a bit of a break on costs, the report said. Expenses start to decline with the addition of each additional child. “Families with three or more children spend 22% less per child than families with two children,” the report said. Often because children are given hand-me-downs, can share items, and food can be purchased in larger quantities at places like Costco or Sam’s Club.
Want to see your personal costs associated with your kids? Check out this Cost of Raising a Child calculator.
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