Cost of having a family up compared with previous generations

08/19/2014 12:35 PM

08/19/2014 12:35 PM

Young parents today face a lot more financial stress than previous generations.

The cost for a middle-income family to raise a kid born in 2013 to age 18 now is $245,340. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its annual report takes into account food, housing, child care and education.

“Costs associated with pregnancy or expenses occurred after age 18, such as higher education, are not included,” the report said. The costs are lower in rural America and in the South and higher in the Northeast. Earlier generations of Americans also didn’t have to pay as much to have families.

“In 1960, the first year the report was issued, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($198,560 in 2013 dollars) to raise a child until the age of 18,” the report notes. “Housing was the largest child-rearing expense both then and now.

“Health care expenses for a child have doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs during that time. In addition, some common current-day costs, such as child care, were negligible in 1960.”

Baby boom parents shouldn’t be surprised if their millennial children ask them to help out financially to get things for the grandkids.

Videos

Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service