Cost of child-raising in America up to nearly $250K

November 27, 2017

Having children may make your life experience richer, but your bank account is bound to suffer. Taking food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and education costs into account, the average American two-parent family is now spending a total of $233,610 to raise a child from birth through age 17, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But that figure can fluctuate — becoming more or less affordable — when you consider the average cost-of-living expenses and wages in different regions nationwide.

Using MIT’s Living Wage calculator, the personal finance guide, CreditLoan, recently worked out the average expense of raising a child in each state, based on two variables—(1) for a one-parent, one-child household and (2) for a two-parent, one-child household. Those results were posted on Business Insider’s website on November 24.

After calculating the average of those numbers, Credit Loan factored in the U.S. Census Bureau’s median income for each state, in order to determine how much of a household’s budget would be spent on child-related costs.

Housing accounts for one-third (33%) of the total estimated cost of raising kids, while food, childcare, and education costs make up another 33% of the overall budget, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Based on this process, the guide came up with the five states where it’s most affordable to raise kids — and the five states where it’s least affordable, as follows:

  • Least expensive states: In New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, parents can expect to put less than 60% of their total income into child-related costs; but
  • Most expensive states: In Nevada, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, and New York, the least affordable states in which to have children, child-related costs will eat up more than 80% of the household income.

Couples tend to earn more and, as a result, spend more on their children, according to Credit Loan’s analysis.

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