Cost to raise a child is now estimated to be more than $300K, research finds

Brookings Institution estimates the cost of raising a child in today’s economy

Stock image of a young girl. (Pixabay)

Every caregiver knows the costs associated with raising a child are high, but a new report from the Wall Street Journal states that the cost is at a four-decade high.

The publication hired the American research group Brookings Institution to estimate the cost of raising a child in today’s economy.

Researchers determined that a married, middle-income couple with two children would spend roughly $310,605 to raise the younger of the two children, born in 2015, through the age of 17. That averages out to about $18,271 a year.

It’s a staggering increase from the $233,610 the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated cost of raising a child in Feb. 2020 — one month before the coronavirus pandemic became widespread and shuttered much of the country.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the calculation uses a baseline government estimate for the cost to raise a child and adjusts for inflation trends.

Over the past year, economists have expressed concern over the inflationary period in the U.S. brought on by ongoing supply issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Reserve has a goal of keeping inflation at about 2%, but “consumer prices surged at the fastest pace in more than three decades in October,” according to the New York Times.

Everything from food, to housing to haircuts, has been affected by recent rising costs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index rose 9.1% over the last 12 months and the energy index is up 7.5% due to the rising costs of gasoline, which is up 11.2%.

The USDA reported that housing accounts for the largest share at 29% of total child-rearing costs. Food comes in second with 18% and childcare/education is third at 16%.

President Joe Biden released a statement on July 13 and called inflation “our most pressing economic challenge.”

“Tackling inflation is my top priority – we need to make more progress, more quickly, in getting price increases under control,” said Biden.

The president said he is urging Congress to enact legislation that reduces the cost of everyday expenses like prescription drugs and utility bills in addition to lowering health insurance premiums.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.