Patch's Poll: How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?

Does $234,000 over 17 years sound about right? Because that’s the latest estimate the federal government is giving for the cost of raising a child born in 2011.

Raising a child nowadays is no financial breeze, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

A middle-income family with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child until he or she is 17 years old, the USDA said.

According to the USDA’s latest annual report, the most recent cost estimates represent a 3.5 percent increase from the 2010 cost of raising a child.

But it’s not the same cost for everyone. Here’s a breakdown:

  • A family earning less than $59,410 per year can expect to spend $169,080 on a child from birth through high school.
  • A family with an income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $234,900 from birth through high school.
  • A family earning more than $102,870 can expect to spend $380,670 raising a child from birth through high school.

Note: The figures are in 2011 dollar amounts.

The USDA said the biggest expense hikes come in the form of transportation, childcare, education and food. The report is based on the federal government’s consumer expenditure survey.

“For the year 2011, annual child-rearing expenses per child for a middle-income, two-parent family ranged from $12,290 to $14,320, depending on the age of the child,” the USDA press release stated.

Do these figures sound about right? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

WindsorRocks June 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Love to LLC
WindsorRocks June 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM
We second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth LLC. It's all about perception. Isn't there research to support that?? see http://www.personal.psu.edu/djw5068/assignment%205.html JUST for a quick overview of the research.
WindsorRocks June 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM
lol actually, we agree and the majority of us have graduated college with academic honors, and are quite successful in our respective fields, we just have chosen to minimize the burden of spending.
WindsorRocks June 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Hey LLC, we are the boomerang generation for a reason
Ed Costello June 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Oh, you have a masters degree..................nevermind. Because you have a masters you can paint with a broad brush and assume that your way is the only way?????? Your educated, but you don't know what you don't know. BTW my daughter is a high honors student and will probably be able to support me by the time she is 30


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