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)