A new U.S. Department of Agriculture report about the found that — adjusted for inflation — kids are 22 percent more expensive today cost of raising a childthan they were in 1960.
The numbers don’t include college tuition, but still, I’m surprised that the overall increase isn’t all that much — just a fifth more.
In 1960, it cost families an average of $182,857 (today’s dollars) to get a child from birth to 17 years old. Now, that number is $222,360. Those numbers are based on 11,800 husband-wife households and 3,350 single-parent households — a pretty big sample.
The biggest jump was in childcare and educations costs, which used to take up only 2 percent of the child-rearing budget but now take up nearly 17 percent. Healthcare costs also doubled.
But the number was kept sort of steady because of a drastically lower price in things like food and clothing. Housing costs have also greatly increased — as has the amount of space kids get — but this category took up the bulk of a kids’ cost back in the room-sharing 1960s.
Go here for a breakdown of these numbers: how much do wealthier people spend per child per year; the poorest, etc. I have three kids and there’s no way we spend $13,000-ish on each every year. (Though we do shell it out for childcare.)
Anyway, with all the stuff there is for kids — computers, games, travel, camps, scooters, classes, helmets, therapy, tutors, date-night babysitters — I would have thought parents these days spent at least 50 percent more on modern kids if not more.