Cost of Raising a Child Born in 2013 Nears $250K
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2014 Aug 19
New parents beware: Your little angel is going to cost you a bundle.
A middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 for food, shelter and other expenses up to age 18, an increase of 1.8% from 2012, according to an annual report by the U.S. Agriculture Department.
The report, issued annually by the USDA since 1960, found housing was the single-biggest expense, averaging about $73,600 or 30% of the total cost of raising a child, followed by child care/education at 18%.
The remainder went to food, transportation, health care, clothing and miscellaneous expenses during the same period.
The report found geographic variations in the cost of raising a child. They were the highest in the urban Northeast at $282,480, followed by the urban West at $261,330 and the urban Midwest at $240,570, which includes Iowa and South Dakota. The urban South came in the lowest at $230,610 for each child.
Child care costs have soared dramatically since the first report 53 years ago. Back then, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($198,560 in 2013 dollars) to raise a child until the age of 18. Housing was the top cost for parents back then, too.
The USDA estimates leave out one gigantic contributor to the cost of raising kids: college education. As every parent knows, these are considerable.