It will cost a middle-income family about $241,080 to raise a baby born in 2012 from birth to age 18, according to an annual report by the US Department of Agriculture. The figure rises to $301,970 when adjusted for inflation and represents a 2.6 percent increase from 2011, the report said.
The costs include child care, education, health care, housing, and food. It’s more expensive to raise a child in the Northeast, where the report said it costs $277,170 overall to raise a child.
The USDA first published a report about the cost of child rearing in 1960 when a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 to raise a child—the equivalent of $195,690 in 2012 dollars.
Here’s a look at how those costs break down. Next
Housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging $71,820 or 30 percent of the total cost. For families raising children in the Northeast, the average housing costs are $85,500, the report said. Next
Child care and education
Child care and education accounts for 18 percent of the cost of raising a child, or $42,810, the report said. That report increases to $64,140 for families raising children in the Northeast. These figures do not include the cost of paying for a child’s college education. Next
Families spend an average of $34,710 on transportation. That accounts for 14 percent of the total cost to raise a child. In the Northeast, the cost is $33,780, the report said. Next
Spending on health care works out to $19,680 or 8 percent of the overall cost of raising a child. In the Northeast, the sum is $17,760, the report said. Next
Total spending on food adds up to $38,520 or 16 percent of the cost of raising a child. The cost works out to $40,350 in the Northeast. Next
The report categorizes miscellaneous expenses as money spent on personal care items, entertainment, and reading materials. Families overall spend $19,560 on these expenses or 8 percent of the total amount it takes to raise a child.That figure rises slightly in the Northeast to $19,860. Next
Clothing accounts for 6 percent of the total cost of raising a child or $13,980. Families who live in the Northeast pay an average of $15,780. Next
The report does not cover estimated costs for a child’s college education. For the 2012-2013 school year, the average annual tuition, fee, room, and board charges at a four-year public school was $17,860, according to a report by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. The figure is $39,518 for a four-year private school. Next
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