Cost of Parenthood: $221,190

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is apparently concerned with more than raising crops, has announced that the estimated cost of raising a child born in 2008 from birth to age 18 is $221,190. If you adjust for expected inflation before the child reaches adulthood, that figure is $291,570. Your mileage may vary.
The report by USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion notes that family income affects child rearing costs. A family earning less than $56,870 per year can expect to spend a total of $159,870 (in 2008 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, parents with an income between $56,870 and $98,470 can expect to spend $221,190; and a family earning more than $98,470 can expect to spend $366,660. In 1960, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($183,509 in 2008 dollars) to raise a child through age seventeen.

When you consider the income levels in these calculations, it doesn't seem all that bad. Many families spend more than that on a house. Then again, the child's shelter expense is the biggest item on the total bill, comprising 32% of the total. Link -via J-Walk Blog

(image credit: Flickr user Matt Stratton)

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I believe we are all selfish when it comes to making lifestyle choices. What really gets us in trouble is insisting that others should make the same decisions, as if every one of us has a corner on what is best.
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huemaurice, was that from the Japanese translator thingie?

ByrdBrain, people who have children are selfless philanthropists?

Interesting how the "die alone" argument is a popular argument for child-bearers, but you don't see that as selfish? You would have children to support you in your dotage, but those who don't have children are selfish because they can jet off to Paris?
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The cost of a child? Good question, vast problem.
The life of a child in the USA or in Africa?
How much money bring back the parents in a life?
Are they paid exactly salary?
It is necessary that their bosses made profits.
Today, they speak of the ' tax carbon '! Pay for the expired air(sight)!
A sportsman or a labourer must he(it) be more imposed than an unemployed person?
Why no tax on them limp with beans?!
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Maybe instead of thinking of "cost of children", it's a lifestyle choice really. People who don't want children or want to spend on children don't have to have them. That can be a respectable choice. Those who want the children are more than willing to make the adjustments needed to afford them. Which that was our choice, to have children and adjust. Then there are those who seamlessly add children into their lives without sacrificing any prior lifestyle while enriching their kids lives. And sadly there are those who have a ton of kids for freebies and like someone said...they use their kids as excuses to get out of work and everything. I've seem far too many treat babies like a tax break and neglect them. Therefore, children cost them nothing. Very sad and to me, is the worst choice possible anyone could take.
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This is exactly why they need to repeal child labor laws in the U.S. I say put them to work early! I figure from the time their born they already owe mom for nine months room and board.
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