Question: How Much Does It Cost to Raise A Child Born in 2015?

Jan 10, 2017
Budgeting, Research, Current Events, Parent Conversations

Hat tip to Brian Page educator (and podcast guest) at Reading High School (Reading, Ohio) for tipping me off to this USDA Report.


Answer (you better thank your parents): $233,610

  • Full explanation of that figure: The estimated expense to raise a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610 (in 2015 dollars) for a middle-income (before-tax income between $59,200 and $107,400), married-couple family with two children.
  • Oh, but it doesn’t include college costs, per the report: “Expenditures estimated in this study are made on children from birth through age 17 for seven major budgetary components. One of the largest excluded expenses is the cost of a college education. The College Board (2016) estimated that in 2016-17, annual average (enrollment-weighted) tuition and fees were $9,650 at 4-year public colleges (in-State tuition) and $33,480 at 4-year private (non-profit) colleges; annual room and board was $10,440 at 4-year public colleges and $11,890 at 4-year private colleges. For 2-year colleges in 2016-17, annual average tuition and fees were $3,520 at public colleges.”

Knowing my inquisitive readers, I figured your next question was, “How does this break out by expense type?” From the report, the big four are housing, food, child care and education and transportation:



On the topic of budgets, check out one of NGPF’s most popular activities: Creating a Salary Based Budget


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.