# Cost of raising a child

The cost of raising a child varies from country to country.

The cost of raising a child is usually determined according to a formula that accounts for major areas of expenditure, such as food, housing, and clothing. However, any given family's actual expenses may differ from the estimates. For example, the rent on a home does not usually change when the tenants have another child, so the family's housing costs may remain the same. In other cases, the home may be too small, in which case the family might move to a larger home at a higher cost. The formula may also account for inflation, as prices are constantly changing, and it will indirectly affect how much it costs to raise a child.

## Developing countries

According to Globalissues.org, "Almost half the world—over three billion people—live on less than US\$2.50 a day." This statistic includes children.[1] The calculation of the cost to raise a child in developing countries is difficult, since families often do not operate with currency, but barter or trade to provide for their children.[2] It is argued that in developing areas the balance between earnings and costs of having children is changing, because the mean number of children per couple in many developing areas has decreased dramatically, especially in Asia, North Africa and the Near East.[3] According to a 2020 report, 356 million children – 17.5 per cent – live in extreme poverty (less than US\$1.90 a day).[4]

### Argentina

Argentina's INDEC provides a breakdown of minimum costs per person in household, known as the "canasta básica total", this metric doesn't measure the average cost, but the minimum cost (poverty line) and is published monthly. All values are per "equivalent adult".

Monthly values of the "canasta básica total" for Greater Buenos Aires[5]
Age Cost per month

(converted to US dollars via official exchange rate)

Equivalent

less than 1 \$ 86.96 0.35
1 \$ 91.93 0.37
2 \$ 114.29 0.46
3 \$ 126.71 0.51
4 \$ 136.65 0.55
5 \$ 149.07 0.60
6 \$ 159.01 0.64
7 \$ 163.98 0.66
8 \$ 168.95 0.68
9 \$ 171.43 0.69
10 \$ 196.28 0.79
11 \$ 203.73 0.82
12 \$ 211.18 0.85
13 \$ 223.61 0.90
14 \$ 238.51 0.96
15 \$ 248.45 1.00
16 \$ 255.90 1.03
17 \$ 258.39 1.04
18 to 29 \$ 253.42 1.02

Data for June 2022. Exchange rate 1 US dollar is 135,7500 ARG (July 2022). This aggregates to around \$ 41,501.40 from birth to 18 years old.

### India

Based on an estimate by Economic Times in April 2011 and adjusted to inflation for August 2022, the cost of raising a child from birth to age of majority (21 Years) for a middle to upper-middle income family comes to about 1.17 crore (equivalent to 1.2 crore or US\$160,000 in 2023) in total.[6]

Cost break up is as follows:

Cost of raising a child in India (as of August, 2022)
Expenditure class Estimated cost (Rs. lakh) % of cost
Education 49.35 46%
Housing 20.37 19%
Entertainment 12.87 12%
Clothing 6.44 6%
Food 5.36 5%
Transportation 5.36 5%
Healthcare 4.29 4%
Others 3.21 3%
Total 117.25 100%

Note: Estimate assumes cost of birth, but doesn't consider any major illness in child.

## Developed countries

### United Kingdom

Child Poverty Action Group’s annual cost of a child report looks at how much it costs families to provide a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for their children. The 2022 report shows the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old as £157,562 for a couple family or £208,735 for a single parent/guardian.[7]

The Times estimates that it costs £202,660 to raise a child from birth to 18 in the UK. This includes the cost of housing and childcare. This works out to an average approximate of £11,250 per year, or £938 per month.[8]

### United States

Based on a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the table below shows the estimated Average Spending on Children by Families. The data comes from the Consumer Expenditure Survey by the U.S. Department of Labor, conducted from 2005-06. The figures have been updated to 2011 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. However, some dispute the numbers as being biased high for political reasons (e.g., Texas A&M University Finance Professor H. Swint Friday: "The numbers, reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are outrageously misleading. Often government statistics are produced for political objectives that cause the research methodology to be biased toward finding the highest dollar amount to support the objective."[9]).

These figures from the USDA go up to age 18, and do not include any college or university education. Nor does it offer any spending estimates if the child remains in the home as a dependent after the age of 18.[10]

Both tables are for the United States overall, not based on any specific region in the country.

Dual-Parent Family - USDA Average Spending per Child (not the basic cost of raising)[11]
Age
of Child
Housing Food Transport. Clothing Health Child Care
/Education
Misc. Total
Before-tax income: Less than \$59,410 (Average = \$38,000)
0 to 2 2,990 1,160 1,170 640 630 2,040 420 9,050
3 to 5 2,990 1,260 1,230 500 590 1,910 620 9,100
6 to 8 2,990 1,710 1,350 570 660 1,290 630 8,760
9 to 11 2,990 1,970 1,350 580 710 1,910 630 9,520
12 to 14 2,990 2,130 1,480 690 1,090 1,110 700 9,960
15 to 17 2,990 2,120 1,630 730 1,010 1,290 589 9,970
Total 53,820 31,050 24,630 11,130 14,070 23,640 10,740 169,080
Before-tax income: \$59,410 to \$102,870 (Average = \$79,940)
0 to 2 3,920 1,405 1,690 760 850 2,860 890 12,370
3 to 5 3,920 1,490 1,740 610 800 2,740 1,090 12,390
6 to 8 3,920 2,100 1,860 680 940 1,680 1,110 12,290
9 to 11 3,920 2,400 1,870 710 1,000 2,110 1,100 13,110
12 to 14 3,920 2,580 1,990 840 1,410 1,910 1,170 13,820
15 to 17 3,920 2,570 2,150 900 1,330 2,400 1,050 14,320
Total 70,560 37,620 33,900 13,500 18,990 41,100 19,230 234,900
Before-tax income: More than \$102,870 (Average = \$180,040)
0 to 2 7,100 1,900 2,550 1,050 980 5,090 1,790 20,460
3 to 5 7,100 2,000 2,610 880 930 4,970 1,990 20,480
6 to 8 7,100 2,630 2,730 970 1,080 3,910 2,000 20,420
9 to 11 7,100 2,980 2,730 1,010 1,150 4,350 2,000 21,320
12 to 14 7,100 3,190 2,860 1,170 1,610 4,700 2,070 22,700
15 to 17 7,100 3,180 3,020 1,280 1,520 6,460 1,950 24,510
Total 127,800 47,640 49,500 19,080 21,810 88,440 35,400 389,670

All numbers are in US dollars.

Single-Parent Family - USDA Average Spending per Child (not the basic cost of raising)[11]
Age
of Child
Housing Food Transport. Clothing Health Child care
/Education
Misc. Total
Before-tax income: Less than 40,410 (Average = \$18,350)
0 to 2 2,840 1,400 680 410 520 1,400 510 7,760
3 to 5 2,840 1,370 920 330 600 1,940 610 8,610
6 to 8 2,840 1,830 1,030 340 670 1,940 780 8,450
9 to 11 2,840 2,010 1,060 400 620 1,360 740 9,030
12 to 14 2,840 2,150 1,130 420 940 1,120 840 9,440
15 to 17 2,840 2,270 1,130 460 930 880 670 9,180
Total 51,120 33,090 17,850 7,080 12,840 22,980 12,450 157,410
Before-tax income: \$59,410 or more (Average = \$107,820)
0 to 2 5,880 2,080 1,920 590 980 3,670 1,650 16,770
3 to 5 5,880 2,070 2,160 500 1,090 4,210 1,750 17,660
6 to 8 5,880 2,680 2,260 530 1,180 3,350 1,930 17,810
9 to 11 5,880 3,000 2,300 610 1,110 3,880 1,880 18,660
12 to 14 5,880 3,080 2,370 650 1,560 4,150 1,980 19,670
15 to 17 5,880 3,220 2,370 730 1,550 5,010 1,810 20,570
Total 105,840 48,390 40,140 10,830 22,410 72,810 33,000 333,420

All numbers are in US dollars.

## References

1. ^ Shah, Anup (September 20, 2010). "Poverty Facts and Stats". Global Issues. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
2. ^ Martin Ravallion, Shaohua Chen and Prem Sangraula, Dollar a day revisited, World Bank, May 2008
3. ^ Balen, F. van; Bos, H. M. W. (2009). "The social and cultural consequences of being childless in poor-resource areas". Facts, Views & Vision in ObGyn. 1, 2 (2): 106–121. PMC 4251270. PMID 25478076.
4. ^
5. ^ "Valorización mensual de la canasta básica alimentaria y de la canasta básica total. Gran Buenos Aires" (PDF). INDEC. 2022-07-21.
6. ^ "How much it cost to raise a child" (pdf). report. Economic Times. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
7. ^ "The cost of a child in 2022". Child Poverty Action Group. 8 November 2022. Archived from the original on 9 November 2022. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
8. ^ "How much will it cost to raise a child in 2023?". Liverpool Victoria. 2 February 2023. Archived from the original on 16 March 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
9. ^ Friday, H. Swint (July 20, 2007). "Cost of raising children not as high as government would have you believe". caller.com. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
10. ^ "Cost of Raising Children Calculator". ABC News.
11. ^ a b Lino, Mark. "Expenditures on Children by Families, 2011 (Miscellaneous Publication Number 1528-2011)" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.