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Cost to Raise a Kid: $217k and Up

Cute little boy sitting on a suitcase with the money.
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to new statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it's getting more expensive to raise a kid, but you knew that already.

What you may not have known is that the cost of kids is increasing, even while taking inflation into account—by 23 percentage points since 1960. And that $217,000 figure? It doesn't even take into account the cost of college, which could add another $200,000 or more for private colleges (and the yearly tuitions are only going to continue to rise).

Moreover, the $217k is the average for families with an annual income of less than $60,640, according to USA Today. Once you start getting higher in the income brackets you're not just paying more taxes; you're paying more to raise your kid. For example, for family incomes starting at $105,000 and up will average ... a staggering $501,250 to raise that child. But what's driving these large numbers and increases?

Well housing costs, for one. Think about it: Once you add a child to the mix, your house or apartment suddenly needs an extra room, which can add up month after month for 18 years (and housing/land space is not getting cheaper—just ask anyone living in Manhattan, N.Y.). Other rising costs affecting your kids? The prices of health care and child care contribute to this rise.

So how can you make your kids' expenses average less than these figures? Well you might now have an excuse for having more children, since kids can share rooms (eliminating the need for additional bedrooms per child in a house and then there's the possibility of advantages like hand-me-downs). Two-partner families with one kid will spend 25 percent more per child than parents with multiple children, and parents with three or more spend 22 percent less per child than those with two kids.

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