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