No parent needs to be told that raising a child in today’s economy is a pricey proposition.
A report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that a child born in 2012 will require an investment of $241,080 to raise to the age of 18. If parents support them through college, that cost doubles, CBS News notes.
The government says that raising a child was significantly cheaper half a century ago, during the Baby Boom. Parents of a child born in 1960 could expect to spend just $195,690 in inflation-adjusted 2012 dollars to raise their son or daughter to college age. That’s 23% less than contemporary parents will spend.
But that doesn’t take into account the money a family will lose if one parent stays home to raise the child — a practice common in 1960, but much less so today.
In fact, the government found that in 1960, parents could expect to spend just 2% of expenses on childcare and education, compared to 18% for 2012 children. Health expenses in 1960 comprised just 4% of expenses, half of that which will be spent on children born last year.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the U.S. birth rate has declined markedly since 1960.