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June 15, 2012

Raising a child more expensive in 2011

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Housing, feeding, clothing and educating U.S. children born in 2011 will cost an average of $234,900 by the time they turn 18, a government report says.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in an annual report released Thursday, estimated the cost at $295,560 if inflation is factored in. The cost of child-rearing varies depending on parental income -- the rich pay more -- and the region where the family lives.

Estimated expenses rose 3.5 percent over 2010, the agriculture department said. The biggest increases were in transportation, child care, education and food, while the cost of housing, clothing and healthcare was more stable.

Families living in urban areas in the northeast can expect to have the heaviest expenses, followed by those in the west, Midwest and south. Children are cheaper in rural areas.

Middle-income parents spent an average of $12,290 to $14,320 per child during 2011, depending on their ages.

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