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The 'depressing' cost of raising a child: By the numbers
Ballooning bills for medical care and education mean you will spend more on your kids than your parents spent on you... a lot more
 
A tiny baby will cost you big bucks by the time he or she graduates high school: About $226,920 for a middle-income family, according to a new report.
A tiny baby will cost you big bucks by the time he or she graduates high school: About $226,920 for a middle-income family, according to a new report.
Jenny Elia Pfeiffer/Corbis

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:

$226,920
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.

$163,440
Amount a family making less than $57,600 will spend per kid born in 2010, from birth through high school

$377,040
Amount a family making more than $99,730 will spend per kid born in 2010, from birth through high school

$69,660
Cost of housing for each middle-income family's child

31
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that goes to housing

17
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that goes to child care and education

2
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

16
Percentage of the total cost of raising a child that goes to to food, the third biggest expense in the 2010 tally

$25,230
Total amount that a typical family with a middle income was expected to spend on raising a child back in 1960

$185,856
The equivalent of that 1960 bill in 2010 dollars

100
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.

Sources: USDA, ParentDish, MySanAntonio.com, Bloomberg, Reuters

 

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