It will cost a middle income family about $234,900 to raise a child born in 2011 until the age of 17 according to The Report on Expenditures on Children by Families prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture. This expenditure represents the cost of food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities. The report recognizes that the costs while be higher in the “urban Northeast”, New York, in particular.
Not surprisingly, housing was the single largest expense in rearing a child; representing 30% of the child’s cost. Child care and food were the next largest expenditures, though the child care expense decreases as a percentage as a family has more children; the nanny’s salary is the same whether you have one or three children.
Here are some other highlights of the report:
- Child-rearing expenses vary considerably by household income level. For a child in a two child, husband-wife family, annual expenses ranged from $8,760 to $9,970, on average, (depending on age of the child) for households with before-tax income less than $59,410, from $12,290 to $14,320 for households with before-tax income between $59,410 and $102,870, and from $20,420 to $24,510 for households with before-tax income more than $102,870.
- Annual expenditures on children generally increased with age of the child. This fact was the same for both husband-wife and single-parent families.
- Compared with expenditures on each child in a two-child, husband-wife family, expenditures by husband-wife households with one child average 25 percent more on the single child and expenditures by households with three or more children average 22 percent less on each child.
One of the purposes of this study is to provide courts with data to be used in caluculating child support.