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The Cost of Raising a Child

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Paige Kutilek
|4 min read

Financial Assistance

Raising a child in the US is expensive. When you add up the cost of pregnancy, birth, preschool, healthcare, housing, food, education, and other expenses, the total can exceed $200,000. According to the USDA, raising a child born in 2013 to adulthood will cost an average of $245,340 (costs vary—calculate your own costs with this helpful tool). A Money Magazine report shows that raising a child adds up to $14,970 to the annual expenses of a middle-income family. Whether families are looking to cover the basic costs of raising a child or giving their children access to opportunities, many have discovered that crowdfunding can be a lifesaver.

Housing costs


Quality housing is vital to a child’s well-being, but the price of housing—especially urban housing—has dramatically increased, with home prices rising faster than wages for the last 30 years.

  • A 2015 Realtytrac study reported that home prices in the US have increased 17% in the past two years, while wages have increased only 1.3%.
  • The 2015 Housing Forecast by Realtor.com forecasted that, due to increasing mortgage rates and home price appreciation, home affordability is likely to drop by five to 10%.
  • The same forecast predicts that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will soon reach 5% interest.

Healthcare costs

The healthcare costs associated with raising a child in the US start with pregnancy and childbirth, each of which can easily cost families tens of thousand of dollars depending on complications and insurance policies. Once a child is born, the cost of insuring that child can easily exceed hundreds of dollars per month. If a child should need care for acute or chronic conditions, costs are much higher. Added to these expenses are dental care, orthodontia, and other medical costs not covered by insurance. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the US birthrate has fallen to a record low.

  • The United Census Bureau provides the startling fact that in the last quarter century, the cost of childcare has doubled.
  • A CNN article reported that the out-of-pocket expenses for health care are rising, especially for those under 18.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services forecasts overall health spending increases of more than 6% a year between 2015 and 2022.

Education costs

Obviously, private schools in the US are far more expensive than public schools. Even though public schools don’t charge tuition, that doesn’t mean public education won’t put a dent in your finances—your expenses may include supplies, uniforms, exam fees, field trips, therapists, tutors and special education services, and more.

  • The national average for private school tuition is approximately $10,302 per year, according to Private School Review.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that parents spend an average of $669 per year per child on clothing, electronics, and school supplies.
  • During 2017, College Board marked average costs for public four-year in-state college at $36,420, while a private four-year college costs averaged $46,950.

Miscellaneous expenses

Miscellaneous expenses include clothing, transportation, personal care products, electronics, preschool, daycare, after-school and summer childcare, summer camps, extracurricular activities, and more. These expenses often increase as the child gets older.

  • The USDA found that the overall cost of raising a child varies by geographic location, ranging from $230,610 in the urban South to $282,480 in the urban Northeast.
  • Time article estimates that a child can add up to $14,970 to annual expenses for middle-income families before taxes.
  • The Pew Research Center reports that the US birth rate has declined significantly in the past several years, possibly because having more children is too expensive.

Offset the cost of raising a child with crowdfunding

Crowdfunding makes it easier than ever for families to reach out for help. People rely on GoFundMe’s free crowdfunding platform to raise funds for kids and families every day. Your family’s fundraising page becomes a space where friends and family provide both financial and emotional support. If you haven’t already, start your free fundraiser on GoFundMe today.

Start a free fundraiser

Paige Kutilek

About Paige Kutilek

I'm keen on creating meaningful and thoughtful content that will have an impact. I'm a dedicated individual with a creative touch who is always eager to learn more. Lover of cats, avocados, and tea.

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