It Costs A Quarter Million Dollars to Raise A Child in the United States


According to a new government report, the cost of raising a child born in 2013 is roughly $245,340.

The United States Department of Agriculture's annual Expenditures on Children and Families report released Monday notes that a middle income family will spend $12,800 to $14,970 per year for each child. Adjusting for inflation comes out to $304,480 per kid from birth to adulthood. 

The report explains that the cost of raising a child varies based on family income: Parents with an income of between $61,530 and $106,540 will spend approximately $245,340, while those making more than $106,540 can expect to dish out $407,820. 

Approximately 30 to 33 percent of expenditures will go to housing costs with child care, education, and food coming in next for a middle income household, which is defined by the report as the middle third of the income distribution.

The report also notes that the price of raising children varies based on the region. Two parent families living in rural areas spend an estimated $193,590 on each child compared to $230,610 in the "urban south" and $282,480 in the "urban northeast."

According to Bloomberg Business Week, the increase in costs, which was the lowest since  2009 is good news. "Improving economic times would definitely help families be able to afford to spend more on kids,” Elizabeth Peters, director of the Center on Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute in Washington told Bloomberg in an interview. “And they allow them to think about starting to have a family in a situation when they wouldn’t have before," she added.

And if it makes you feel any better, raising kids in the U.S. has always been pricey. In 1960, the first year the report was released, a middle income family was projected to spend $25,230 for each kid, which is $198,560 in 2013 dollars adjusted for inflation.

For anyone considering kids that might want to start with a more cost effective option, owning a mid sized dog will put you back between $12,468 and $38,905 for fourteen years, according to Foster and Smith an American pet supply company. 

(Image via jolly/

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