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Brace Yourselves, Parents! The Cost of Raising a Child Just Went Up — Dollars and Sense

Child Care Costs

Pretty much everyone knows that raising a child is getting more and more expensive. But did you know that the cost of doing so went up $8,000 in just one year?

A report by the United States Department of Agriculture took into account food, shelter and other necessities and found that middle-income families who had a baby in 2011 can expect to shell out $235,000 in child-rearing expenses over a 17-year period.

That’s up 3.5 percent — or $8,000 — from the figure estimated for new parents in 2010. So what’s behind the jump?

Experts say expenses for transportation, child care, education and food surged for middle-income families, defined as those making between $59,000 and $103,000 per year. In addition, there were gradual increases in the cost of health care, clothing and housing.

Lower-income families will likely spend less to raise a child to adulthood — about $169,000 — while wealthier families can expect to spend roughly $390,000.

Back in 1960, when the USDA issued its first report on the estimated cost of raising a child, the agency predicted a $25,000 tab — or, adjusted for inflation, about $192,000 in today’s money.

[CNN Money]

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