Kerry Collins

Kerry Collins

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It’s never been cheap to have a kid, but just like practically everything else, it’s getting more expensive. According to the latest research from LendingTree, raising a child from birth to age 18 now costs an average of $237,482.

The financial firm finds that the average annual cost of child rearing in the U.S. was up to $21,681 in 2021 - the most recent year data is available for - an increase of 19.3% from 2016. And this amount doesn’t even include sports, after-school classes and activities, or the cost of sending them to college. This amount is just what LendingTree calls the “bare bones” required for raising a kid: food, housing, apparel, transportation and health insurance.

Key findings from the study:

  • The biggest expense of raising a kid is child care, which comes to an average of $11,752 a year.
  • Location makes a big difference in that amount, with costs in Washington, D.C. topping $25-thousand a year and in Massachusetts it can be $21-thousand a year.
  • The most expensive state to raise a child is Hawaii, where parents spend an average of $30,506.
  • Mississippi is the most affordable state for parents, where a year of child raising expenses averages just $15,555.
  • In the U.S., parents spend about $1 of every $5 on raising their kids.
  • The cost of 18 years of raising a child is highest in Hawaii at $314,529 and lowest in South Carolina at $169,327.
  • And when you add in paying for college, the price of raising a kid could double, depending on where you live and what kind of college they go to.

Source: CBS News


Mother and son looking at jar full of coins

Photo: Chris Ryan / OJO Images / Getty Images

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