How Expensive Is It to Raise a Child?

The cost to raise a child from birth to 18 years old in the US is $241,080 US Dollars (USD), based on 2013 estimates. This is an increase of more than 20% in real dollars — that is, after inflation is taken into account — in comparison with 1960. The biggest expense for raising children is housing, which is about 30% of the total cost. Childcare is the next highest expense, at about 18%, followed by food costs at 16% of the total. The cost of childcare is the fastest-growing expense and increased by 800% from 1960 to 2013.

More about the cost of raising children in the US:

  • The urban Northwest spends the most on raising children from birth to age 18, at an estimated $446,100 USD per child for households earning more than $100,000 USD per year.
  • Each additional child a family has reduces the total cost of raising him or her. For example, the cost of raising a third child is about 22% less than the cost of raising the second child.
  • After adjusting for inflation, the cost of feeding a child in 2013 is about 20% less than it was in 1960.
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