Middle-income family spends $235,000 to raise baby

WASHINGTON — For $235,000, you could indulge in a shiny new Ferrari — or raise a child for 17 years.

A government report released Thursday says a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about that much in child-related expenses from birth through age 17. That’s a 3.5 percent increase from 2010.

The report from the Agriculture Department’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion finds that housing is the single largest expense, averaging about $70,500, or 30 percent of the total cost.

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Families living in the urban Northeast tend to have the highest child-rearing expenses, followed by those in the urban West and the urban Midwest. Those living in the urban South and rural areas face the lowest costs.

For children in the Northeast, total housing expenses were the highest, as were child care and education costs.

The department has issued the report every year since 1960.