Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013

Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013

Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013, According to USDA Report Data shows lowest costs are in urban South and rural regions of the U.S., costs highest in urban Northeast WASHINGTON, August 18, 2014 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report, Expenditures on Children and Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. The report shows that a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation* ) for food, housing, childcare and education, and other child-rearing expenses up to age 18. Costs associated with pregnancy or expenses occurred after age 18, such as higher education, are not included.

While this represents an overall 1.8 percent increase from 2012, the percentages spent on each expenditure category remain the same. As in the past, the costs by location are lower in the urban South ($230,610) and rural ($193,590) regions of the country. Families in the urban Northeast incurred the highest costs to raise a child ($282,480).

“In today’s economy, it’s important to be prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future,” said USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “In addition to giving families with children an indication of expenses they might want to be prepared for, the report is a critical resource for state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments.”

The report, issued annually, is based on data from the federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For the year 2013, annual child-rearing expenses per child for a middle-income, two-parent family ranged from $12,800 to $14,970, depending on the age of the child. The report, developed by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), notes that family income affects child-rearing costs. A family earning less than $61,530 per year can expect to spend a total of $176,550 (in 2013 dollars) on a child from birth up to age 18. Middleincome** parents with an income between $61,530 and $106,540 can expect to spend $245,340; and a family earning more than $106,540 can expect to spend $407,820.

“Food is among the top three expenses in raising children,” said CNPP Executive Director Angela Tagtow. “Parents have the challenge of providing food that is not only healthful and delicious, but also affordable. We have great resources such as ChooseMyPlate.gov that features tips to help families serve nutritious and affordable meals. I encourage parents to check out our Healthy Eating On a Budget resources, 10-Tips Nutrition Series, recipes, and MyPlate Kids’ Place, which features digital games for kids to get engaged themselves in healthy eating.”

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging 30 percent of the total cost. Child care and education was the second largest expense at 18 percent, followed by food, which accounted for 16 percent of the total cost.

“Variations by geographic region are marked when we look at housing, for example,” said study author and CNPP economist Mark Lino, Ph.D. “The average cost of housing for a child up to age 18 is $87,840 for a middle-income family in the urban West, compared to $66,240 in the urban South, and $70,200 in the urban Midwest. It’s interesting to note that other studies are showing that families are increasingly moving to these areas of the country with lower housing cost.”

In 1960, the first year the report was issued, 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 largest child-rearing expense both then and now. Health care expenses for a child have doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs during that time. In addition, some common currentday costs, such as child care, were negligible in 1960.

Expenses per child decrease as a family has more children. Families with three or more children spend 22 percent less per child than families with two children. As families have more children, the children can share bedrooms, clothing and toys can be handed down to younger children, food can be purchased in larger and more economical quantities, and private schools or child care centers may offer sibling discounts. The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013 is available on the web at www.cnpp.usda.gov. In addition, families can enter the number and ages of their children to obtain an estimate of costs with a calculator via the interactive web version of the report.

* Projected inflationary costs are estimated to average 2.4 percent per year. This estimate is calculated by averaging the rate of inflation over the past 20 years. 
**For the purposes of this report, a middle-income family is defined as the middle third of the income distribution for a two-parent family with children. 

CRC2013InfoGraphic

The Cost of Raising a Child Infographic August 2013

 

A Child Born In 2010 Will Cost $226,920 To Raise,

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 – The Department of Agriculture released its annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families, finding that a middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend about $226,920 ($286,860 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years. This represents a 2 percent increase from 2009. Expenses for transportation, child care, education, and health care saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2009. There were very small changes in housing, food, clothing, and miscellaneous expenses on a child since 2009.

The report, issued annually since 1960, is a valuable resource to courts and state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments. It is based on data from the Federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For the year 2010, per child annual child-rearing expenses for a middle-income, two-parent family range from $11,880 to $13,830, depending on the age of the child.

The report by USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion notes that family income affects child rearing costs. A family earning less than $57,600 per year can expect to spend a total of $163,440 (in 2010 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, parents with an income between $57,600 and $99,730 can expect to spend $226,920; and a family earning more than $99,730 can expect to spend $377,040.

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging $69,660 or 31 percent of the total cost over 17 years. Child care and education (for those incurring these expenses) and food were the next two largest expenses, accounting for 17 and 16 percent of their total expenditure. These estimates do not include costs associated with pregnancy or the cost of a college education or education beyond high school.

The report notes geographic variations in the cost of raising a child, with expenses the highest for families living in the urban Northeast, followed by the urban West and urban Midwest. Families living in the urban South and rural areas have the lowest child-rearing expenses.

This is the 50th year USDA has issued its annual report on the cost of raising a child. In 1960, the first year the report was issued, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($185,856 in 2010 dollars) to raise a child through age seventeen. Housing was the largest expense on a child both then and now. Health care expenses on a child doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs. In addition, some current-day costs, such as child care, were negligible in 1960.

The report also highlights that expenses per child decrease as a family has more children. Families with three or more children spend 22 percent less per child than families with two children. As families have more children, the children can share bedrooms, clothing and toys can be handed down to younger children, food can be purchased in larger and more economical quantities, and private schools or child care centers may offer sibling discounts.

The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2010 PDF

In addition, an interactive version of the report where families can enter in the number and ages of their children to obtain an estimate of costs with USDA’s Cost of Raising a Child Calculator, you will be able to estimate how much it will annually cost to raise a child. This may help you plan better for overall expenses including food, or to purchase adequate life insurance.

Additional Materials Available:

Infographic: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/CRC2013InfoGraphic.pdf

Full Report: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2013.pdf

Interactive Calculator: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/tools/CRC_Calculator/default.aspx

The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, part of USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services mission area, works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.

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