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Kids cost a quarter of million bucks to raise, and that's before college

Kids cost a quarter of million bucks to raise, and that's before college

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report Monday that says it will cost middle-income parents $245,340 to raise children born in 2013, not including costs associated with higher education.

That's a 1.8 percent increase compared to the costs faced by middle-income parents raising a child born in 2012.


USDA's annual report on Expenditures on Children and Families considers expenses related to housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care and miscellaneous items when compiling its final figures. The report considers costs up until children reach the age of 18.

A USDA official said the report is a useful to people who are considering having children, so they are "prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future." But USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon also said these rising costs should be noted by states as they decide cases involving child support cases and other issues.

"[T]he report is a critical resource for state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments," he said.

USDA's report found that the cost of raising a child increases as household income rises.

For example, it said families earning less than $61,530 a year should expect to spend $176,550 on their children before they hit 18. That's nearly $70,000 less than what middle-income families will spend.

It found that families earning more than $106,540 a year can expect to spend $407,000, or about $150,000 more than middle-income families.

USDA also found that the costs of raising a child rise as their age rises. Middle-income families should expect to spend nearly $13,000 a year for children under age 9.

But teenagers cost nearly $15,000 a year to raise.

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