What’s the Cost of Raising a Child and Becoming a Parent

Last Revised on August 11, 2009

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There is cost to everything, including to become a parent and raise a child. Being a parent can be expensive, so how much you will have to spend on your kid through age 17? We will list you the expected price tag that you will pay because finally there is a study done by U.S. Department of Labor in part of its Consumer Expenditure Survey. The tables below shows the cost of raising a child in both the single parent family as well as by a dual-parent family.

We should disclose that the estimated annual cost of raising a child until they are 18 years old is retrieved from the study done by US Department of Agriculture. The USDA have been updating this report since the year 1960 with the objective helping state governments decide and design child support and foster care payments rules and regulations. But the main idea behind this report is to help families plan on saving money for their child’s education.

so What are the Cost and Expenses of Raising a Child these days?

Here are the latest spending numbers we got:

For Single-Parent Family

Age
of Child

Housing

Food

Transportation

Clothing

Health

Child care/
Education

Miscellaneous

Total

0 to 2

2,240

1,010

730

330

220

530

380

5,440

3 to 5

2,550

1,060

640

350

330

720

500

6,150

6 to 8

2,710

1,340

740

410

390

650

670

6,910

9 to 11

2,600

1,550

530

420

490

310

540

6,440

12 to 14

2,600

1,550

620

710

520

400

520

6,920

15 to 17

2,760

1,690

970

830

520

300

600

7,670

Total

46,380

24,600

12,690

9,150

7,410

8,730

9,630

118,590

In a Dual-Parent Family

Age
of Child

Housing

Food

Transportation

Clothing

Health

Child care/
Education

Miscellaneous

Total

0 to 2

2,500

910

780

370

460

840

630

6490

3 to 5

2,470

1,010

750

360

440

820

680

6,630

6 to 8

2,380

1,300

880

400

510

560

680

6,710

9 to 11

2,150

1,560

950

450

560

340

720

6,730

12 to 14

2,400

1,640

1,070

750

560

240

900

7,560

15 to 17

1,940

1,780

1,440

660

600

400

660

7,480

Total

41,520

24,600

17,610

8,970

9,390

9,990

12,720

124,800

Both the above data were collected for families with income of 39,000 per year before paying taxes and it doesn’t include the childbirth and college expenses.

As we can see from the data that one third of the total costs are on housing. All the cost have been varying based on the location where the family lives and their annual income they bring home. Urban areas Northeastern part of the United States is the most expensive place to raise a child followed by Midwest. Cheapest areas to raise a kid are southern rural areas.

Most single parent households as well as two-parenting family has annual income less than $57,000 and if that’s the case for most families in the United States, then the cost of raising a child is about $160,000 excluding college expense.

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