Can you put a price on a human life? In public, people will swear up and down you can’t, but get some academics behind closed doors and they’ll gladly do it for you. At least the USDA will, judging by the fact that they took a look at the cost of raising a child in America from birth to age 17, and came up with the number $245,340. So, that’s a quarter of a million dollars before college. This is why it’s so disappointing to your mother that you’re not a doctor.
According to the USDA study, on average, two-parent families spend between $9,130 and $10,400 per year on kids, because you have to give them things like “food” and “clothing” and you can’t make them work. Just wait until President Rand Paul fixes that last one though. It’s housing that takes the biggest chunk of money in two parent families, with 30% of the average cost of a child eaten up by housing them, followed by 18% of that cost being eaten by “child care and education.” That being said, half of all families reported no money spent in this area, with 45% and 56% of middle and high income families saying that shelled out for this. So, take a note: public schools, no fancy tutors.
Unsurprisingly, it cost the most per year to raise a child in the “urban Northeast,” with the numbers running from just under $15,000 per year when the kid is born, to over $17,500 per year by the 15-17 ages. So, should you have a kid at all? If you asked your parents obviously they’d tell you to, but get ’em drunk and then ask them, then you can get a real answer.