Have you ever wondered how much it costs to raise a child today in America? $233,610—excluding the cost of college for a middle-income family for a child born in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, with the constant changing of demographics and economic pressures, the price may be higher.
Recent data from the Consumer Expenditures Survey indicates that a middle-class family will spend roughly $12,980 per child each year, according to usda.gov. Parents raising children born in 2015 through age 17 may expect to spend nearly $233,610 for necessities including food and shelter. Housing is the most costly of child-raising costs, accounting for 29 percent of the total.
Costs such as child care, education, and other miscellaneous expenses per child increase as the child ages and also increase by household income level. Teenagers have higher food costs and transportation costs as they learn to drive, including the cost of a car and car insurance.
Annual expenses per child are also dependent on location. Families in rural areas spend 27 percent less on average on their children than families in the urban Northeast, mostly due to the lower cost of housing, child care, and education.
As families have more children, the cost of each individual child goes down. Married-couple families with one child have average expenses of 27 percent more per child than that of a two-child family. This is because multiple children can share a bedroom; food can be purchased in larger, more cost-effective quantities; clothes and toys can be handed down; and older children can watch younger children as an alternative to paying for babysitters, according to usda.gov.
In addition to all of the expenses of raising a child, adopting a child within the U.S. can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000, and international adoptions can cost as much as $50,000, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a dividion of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told usatoday.com.
“Everyone needs a plan, whether you have $100 million or $150 in your bank account,” Brown Brother Harriman’s Penta told usatoday.com. “Take a 50,000-foot view before you have these people in your life who have personalities and needs.”
The cost of children based on projected inflation is estimated to increase by an average of 2.2 percent per year.
Cintia Feliz contributed to this article.