Speed Reads


Was your child born in 2013? That's going to cost you $245,340

Congratulations, parents of babies born in the United States in 2013! You're projected to spend $245,340 raising your child.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual report Expenditures on Children by Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. Taking into consideration paying for food, housing, education, child care, and other costs associated with raising a child, a middle-income family can expect to pay $245,340 (or $304,480 adjusted for projected inflation) from birth until the child reaches 18. This does not include pregnancy costs or anything after the age of 18, including college tuition.

"In today's economy, it's important to be prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future," USDA official Kevin Concannon said in a statement. "In addition to giving families with children an indication of expenses they might want to be prepared for, the report is a critical resource for state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments."

This is a 1.8 percent increase from 2012. In some areas of the country, it's cheaper — in the urban South, the amount to raise a child is expected to be around $230,610, and in rural areas it's $193,590. The most expensive projection is in the urban Northeast, at $282,480.

The report is based on data from the federal government's Consumer Expenditure Survey. The first report came out in 1960, when the average cost was $25,230 a year — or $198,560 in 2013 dollars. Both then and now, housing was the most expensive cost for parents, but in those days, child care costs were negligible.