NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Rising Cost for Raising Children

Rising Costs for Raising Children


According to a recently released U.S. Department of Agriculture report, the cost of raising a child has just raised itself.  It will now cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born last year for 18 years.  In that $241,080 is an increase of almost 3% from 2011 and especially note, it does not include the cost of college.


The USDA's latest estimates include expenses for housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, education and child care, as well as miscellaneous expenses, such as toys and computers.  The cost varies by regions. The biggest price tag is for families in the urban Northeast earning $105,360 or more. They will spend $446,100, much more than the national average, according to the report. Meanwhile, families earning less than $61,590 a year in rural areas will spend the least, at $143,160.


While expenses in all categories rose in 2012, health care, education and child care spending increased the most. Health care spending made up around $20,000, or around 8%, of the USDA's estimated child-rearing expenses for a child born in 2012. Meanwhile, child care and education expenses represented nearly 18% of the total costs for middle-income parents.


Another factor hurting families: rising transportation and food costs. Gas prices almost doubled between 2000 and 2012, even after adjusting for inflation, according to AAA.


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