Got a bouncing bundle of joy? Better have a bouncing bundle of money, as the USDA reports that a middle-income family with a baby born in 2011 can look forward to spending an average of $234,900 ($295,560 with projected inflation) to raise the child for the next 17 years, a 3.5% increase from 2010.
Back in the "happy days," kids were cheap to keep, with the 17-year parenting bill for a baby born in 1960 coming in at just over $25,000 ($191,720 in 2011 dollars). By 2008, the tab increased to over $204,000 and reached over $220,000 in 2010.
According to the USDA's annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2011,
housing remained the largest child rearing expenditure for middle-income families in 2011, averaging $70,560 or 30% of the total cost over 17 years. Child care and education, and food were the next most costly expenses, averaging 18% and 16% of the total 17-year cost. Expenses for transportation, child care, education, and food saw the largest rate of increase from 2010 to 2011.
As in past years, average annual expenditures increased along with the age of child in both two-parent and single-parent families.
Overall annual child-rearing expenses were highest for husband-wife families in the urban Northeast, followed by families in the urban West and urban Midwest; families in the urban South and rural areas had the lowest child-rearing expenses.
The More You Make, the More You Spend: Also consistent with past years, families in 2011 will spend more on child-rearing as their income increases. Families with incomes less than $59,410 will spend about $169,080 to raise a child born in 2011 through high school. Middle-income families with an income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $234,900. At the top end, families earning more than $102,870 can expect to spend $389,670.