Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its estimate of how much it costs to raise a child from birth to seventeen years of age.
Here's what they found for their latest Expenditures on Children by Families report:
A middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend about $226,920 ($286,860 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years.
It represents a 2% increase from 2009, and the report also notes that, naturally, the more money you make, the more you spend on your child:
- A family earning less than $57,600 per year can expect to spend a total of $163,440 (in 2010 dollars) on a child from birth through high school.
- Similarly, parents with an income between $57,600 and $99,730 can expect to spend $226,920;
- and a family earning more than $99,730 can expect to spend $377,040.
Housing accounts for 31% of the cost for raising a child for a family with a middle income.
The USDA first released this report in 1960 when a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 to raise a child (or $185,856 in 2010 dollars).