Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Cost of Raising Children

The Los Angeles Times reports on the release of new data on the cost of child-rearing:

The grand total for middle-income parents raising one child from birth to age 17 is $222,360, which doesn't include college tuition, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That's 22% higher than the 1960 cost — adjusted for inflation — of $182,857.

"Annual child-rearing expense estimates ranged between $11,650 and $13,530 for a child in a two-child, married-couple family in the middle-income group," the report says.

The study, called "Expenditures on Children by Families," examined child-rearing expenses of 11,800 husband-wife households and 3,350 single-parent households.

The report called child-care and education costs "the most striking change in child-rearing expenses over time." Those expenses grew from 2% of total child-rearing expenses to 17%.

Healthcare expenses doubled as a percentage of total costs and also climbed in real terms.

Although food was among the largest expenses in both time periods, proportionally the overall costs have fallen. Changes in agriculture over the last 50 years have resulted in food taking up a lower percentage of household income, the report said.

The cost of housing has increased in real terms but was the most expensive expenditure in both time periods.

Read the full story here.


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