Parents Spend an Average of $235K to Raise a Child

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it costs $235K to raise a child born in 2011 to the age of 17.

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Are you and your spouse planning to have a child? You may want to hold off on those plans until you are absolutely sure you’re financially stable enough to afford one. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents will spend an average of $235,000 to raise a child born in 2011 to the age of 17.

It’s important to note that this amount is an average cost. For the lowest income groups, raising a child will cost about $212,000. For wealthier families, the costs shoots up to $490,000. The costs factor in housing, food, clothing, health care, schooling, etc. Discretionary spending (e.g. family vacations, birthday gifts, extra-curricular activities, etc.) is extra spending. With the downward economic spiral, some couples are reconsidering their decision to start a family. “It does give some people pause,” says Dr. Joyce Cavanagh, a family economics specialist and associate professor with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in College Station. “Every year when this study comes out, there are people who think, ‘Whoa, that’s a lot of money. What are we getting ourselves into?'”

The aforementioned costs do not include your child’s college education. And if you’re thinking sending  your child to a state-funded college will save you a significant amount of money, think again. According to education experts, decisions on the state level about how to allocate limited public resources — to a growing population of people who need them — are having a huge impact on the cost of college tuition at the state level, thus cutting funding for colleges and directing scarce resources to primary and secondary schooling, Medicaid, and prisons.



  1. onmyway2012

    December 26, 2012 at 12:34 am

    I’m childfree and the only way I’ll have a child is with a wealthy man. Since the odds of marrying a rich man works greatly against me, I’m not having kids, nor dating a man with kids. Been there, done that, never again. That amount of $$$$$$ in this article to raise a kid is higher than my entire student loan debt, including grad school. This has jarred me to reality. No kiddies. That amount is retirement I don’t have. Just chilling.

    • dislikeignorantniggas!

      December 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      #fuck this pst #this is bullshit they are trying to control the blk population

    • Gene

      December 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Me too, I am going to be childfree also and don’t want kids, I realize it is not for me and I can’t handle the stress, money or patience of kids. I wish people would think long and hard before having kids instead of popping babies left and right.

  2. Twyla

    June 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Why do people act as if other people having children affects them. People stay complaining about average everyday people being a burden on society but fail to address all of the politicians and corporate level greed and coruption that really is the real issue with my the ecomy is in such bad shape. Black ppeople need to stop following the lead of people who don’t even want us here like sheep and think for themselves.

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