The economy might be sinking, but the cost of having a big family is on the rise. A middle-income family can now expect to spend more than $200,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18, according to an annual report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The figures are "depressing," says Tom Henderson at ParentDish. And if you factor in the money you'll spend on each kid after high school, the financial challenge looks even more daunting, says Chris Quinn at MySanAntonio. Still, the tab is "a bargain considering the blessing a child is for a family." Here, a look at where the money goes:
Total amount that a typical family with a household income between $57,600 and $99,730 will have spent on a child born in 2010 by the time his or her high-school graduation year rolls around. The bulk of that sum goes to housing, child care, education, transportation, and doctor bills.
Amount a family making less than $57,600 will spend per kid born in 2010, from birth through high school
Amount a family making more than $99,730 will spend per kid born in 2010, from birth through high school
Cost of housing for each middle-income family's child
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that goes to housing
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that goes to child care and education
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that went to child care and education in 1960, the first year the USDA issued a report on child-rearing costs
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that goes to to food, the third biggest expense in the 2010 tally
Total amount that a typical family with a middle income was expected to spend on raising a child back in 1960
The equivalent of that 1960 bill in 2010 dollars
Percentage increase in health care spending, as a share of total costs, from 1960 and 2010. In 1960, 4 percent of the total cost of raising a child went to health care. It's now 8 percent.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- How China sparked an Asian frenzy for killer submarines
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
Subscribe to the Week