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August 2010 Archives

The Cost of Raising Children

Since 1960, the governmental department assigned to provide estimates of expenditures on children from birth through the age of 17 has been the United States Department of Agriculture. Those expenditures consist of the following categories: housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care, education, and miscellaneous expenses. The report only covers through the age of 17, even though everyone will agree that parents do not stop supporting their children once they reach the age of 17. In other words, people should expect that children will actually cost them more than what is set forth by the USDA. According to the report from the USDA entitled Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013, "In 2013, estimated annual average expenses on the younger child in two-child, husband-wife families increased as income level rose. Depending on age of the child, annual expenses ranged from $9,130 to $10,400 for families with a before-tax income less than $61,530, from $12,800 to $14,970 for families with a before-tax income between $61,530 and $106,540, and from $21,330 to $25,700 for families with a before-tax income more than $106,540. On average, households in the lowest income group spent 25 percent of their before-tax income on a child; those in the middle-income group, 16 percent; and those in the highest group, 12 percent. The range among these percentages would be narrower if after-tax income were considered.... Compared with expenditures for each child in a husband-wife, two-child family, husband-wife households with one child spend an average of 25 percent more on the single child, and those with three or more children spend an average of 22 percent less on each child."

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