Middle-Income Parents Will Pay $8,000 More To Raise Kids Born In 2011 Than In 2010

Are you a middle-income parent who had a baby in 2011? You’re probably going to be jealous of your pals who birthed offspring in 2010, as it’s about $8,000 more expensive to raise a child born in 2011 over 17 years than the year before. Time to start pinching extra pennies and clipping diaper coupons to afford that $235,000 kid.

A report by the United States Department of Agriculture sets out the bad news, factoring in food, shelter and other necessities to raise a child, and does not account for inflation, reports CNNMoney. The 3.5% surge in expenses is likely due to increases in the costs of transportation, child care, education and food for middle-income families.

While the bulk of expense will be due to the cost of housing, at $70,500, the cost of sheltering your kid, health care and clothing costs increased at a more gradual pace than other categories.

The government defines middle-income families as those with $59,000 to $103,000 in annual income before taxes.

Lower income families get a bit of a reprieve, as they’re expected to spend about $169,000 over the same time period, whereas higher income families will shell out about $390,000.

The first year the USDA issued a report on the cost of raising a child was in 1960, when a kid was estimated to cost a family $25,000 (around $192,000 now) to care for a youngin’ until 17.

Raising a child just got $8,000 more expensive [CNNMoney]


Edit Your Comment

  1. MCerberus says:

    Well at least parents know that the ‘corn sugar’ people haven’t managed to HFCS55 baby formula…

    I’d give it until 2014

  2. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I am reporting this article to the Federal Obama Truth Team.

    You are not allowed to report a bad yearly trend if both years were Obama presidency years. You are required to compare 2011 to a Bush year (as long as the comparison makes Obama look good – otherwise you are not allowed to report at all).

    • PunditGuy says:

      Yeah — context. Meh. Who needs it? So much easier to just say things like “He spends more than anybody ever in history!” when you could say that about any new president — including the next guy.

      • MCerberus says:

        There was a study going around that mathematically looked at everything. Using some calc101 stuff turns out Obama’s trending in the right direction. The big difference was a shortfall in income.


        • Coffee says:

          Hmmmm…and where does income come from? Hmmmm…Hmmmmmmmm…

          • MCerberus says:

            Not the taxes they’re demanding be lower despite them being at levels not seen since the early 50s. Not those taxes that corporations dodge and every Republican signed a proposal (and this is not a joke btw) that was thought up by somebody when they were in 6th grade.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              Which lower taxes? The Bush-era tax cuts? Those taxes?


    • Bsamm09 says:

      I’m just happy that a team from Charleston, SC is leading the Big Rock Tournament!!!!

      Go Flybuoy!!!


  3. gman863 says:

    Yet another reason sales of condoms and birth control pills continue to rise.

  4. Galium says:

    The government defines middle-income families as those with $59,000 to $103,000 in annual income before taxes.

    Shit, I just been stuck back on the poor list. Thank you, ceo’s, wall st, congress, bankers etc. for the 3 years without a pay raise. Cant complain I guess, I was middle class for a few years.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      “You should be glad we still allow you to live here!

      Oh yeah…BACK TO WORK YA LAZY BUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  5. neilb says:

    Dang, and here we are with a baby due on January 1st. I thought the difference was only worth $1000 in taxes!
    If next year is like this year, then I now have $9000 riding on a 2012 birth year.
    Yes, I’m poking at the way they state inflation by calendar year, not by placement within that year. To be optimally-useful, they should cite the lower cost of having a kid put into school early in their school year (NOT holding them back a year when things are ambiguous) so the kid gets out of the house early and takes advantage of college that is one year less inflated.

  6. crispyduck13 says:

    Lower income families get a bit of a reprieve, as they’re expected to spend about $169,000 over the same time period…

    Wow what a completely innacurate and lazy statement. You’d need to figure the percentage of annual income that is expected to go to child rearing based on the report findings to really know whether lower income families are getting “a big of a reprieve.” I’m actually curious about that, but the report does not carry the data to figure that out.

  7. sadie kate says:

    Aww, man! If only my birth control had failed a year earlier.

  8. longfeltwant says:

    Woo hoo! My household is above middle income! What does that mean, does the government classify me as “Upper Income” or is there some other designation? We’re about $120,000. I’d better start thinking of myself as rich!

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      Yes, we have joined ‘the rich’ as well.

      I’m expecting an Occupy protest on my front lawn any second now. Too bad that here in the Democratic Peoples’ Republik of New Jersey, that $110k barely qualifies you for middle class, though.

      Can’t wait to escape this hell hole and move to where that level of income actually lets you get ahead. Hooray for telecommuting.

      • WB987 says:

        A state with Chris Christie as its governor has citizens that think New Jersey a socialist state? Huh?

        • wackydan says:

          Christie hasn’t been in long enough to revert things to where they should be.

        • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

          While Christie is light-years better than Jon Corzine, he really is Republican in name only (RINO). While he is more fiscally conservative than Corzine, that’s not saying too much.

          And while the state is doing a decent job of cutting bloat where possible, the real issue is with the 561 munincipalties and school boards that take Home Rule to an absurd length. The push for sharing services has only just begun, and there are still towns of under 2,500 people that all need to have their own school board, fire department, police department, road crew, etc.

          Local taxes are through the roof. Christie did manage to get a 2% growth cap implemented, but there are enough loopholes that 2% is really a pipe dream.

          Then there’s the political class on both sides of the aisle. Double and triple dipping full-time salaries for part-time public office is rampant. There are teachers who are also county freeholders who are also state assemblymen. State law means that the teacher (or whatever job they hold) has to pay them full time pay even when they go to Trenton to conduct assembly business.

          The Assembly’s “part-time” abuses put Walmart to shame. The Freeholder gig is at night, and is also part time.

          I’m lucky enough to live in a decent suburb of about 4,000 people. We have a top flight elementary school (K-5), but then share the neighboring towns middle and high schools. We also share the police department with a neighboring town, the fire department is volunteer, and the local court system is shared with 4 different towns. The road work is shared between 3 different towns.

          There is a town of 1,500 right next door that has it’s own police force, court system and road department. It has a school board, but NO SCHOOLS. Thankfully, that’s being ended.

          The worst part, though, is an assinine state court ruling from about 30 or so years ago that named several city school districts as ‘underfunded’, even though all local tax revenues stayed local at the time. Now, those handful of schools suck down close to 90% of the local taxes of the entire state. My county, with about 20 school districts (which is also a separate, massive clusterfuck), gets back from the state in local taxes, about 2 to 3% of what was paid. Places like Newark, though, get countless millions to flush down the toilet.

          Ron Paul could be named Dictator of New Jersey, and it would take him at least a decade to undo most of the damage done by the past 30 years of Republocrat governors and uber-liberal assembly shenanigans.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The government defines middle-income families as those with $59,000 to $103,000 in annual income before taxes.

    Damn… so I’m low-income? Where’s my handouts?

    • PunditGuy says:

      You have a spouse and two dependents?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Fiance and her income and mine might, if we’re lucky, skirt that low ball amount. Of course, this is contingent on her getting a new job come August. So then we’ll be two people with one income.

        • PunditGuy says:

          My point is that you don’t meet the definition of a family in “The government defines middle-income families as those with $59,000 to $103,000 in annual income before taxes.” A family is a four-person unit. You need to compare yourself to whatever they define as middle-income household — assuming there is such a definition.

    • Dan the Librarian says:

      The median income (half above and half below) of all US families is $60,088 (2009 dollars). I’m not sure where their middle class definition came from, but apparently nearly half of families are lower class.


  10. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Boo fucking hoo. I’ve heard this before and regardless, I wanted a family and it doesn’t seem to be allowed no matter what I do. Don’t think not having kids means you have any damn money. As soon as I hit menopause, I’m eating a bomb.

  11. maztec says:

    I’m beyond caring. My child has already cost me $180,000 in less than a year.

    This type of article is stupid.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Is the grocery store shrink-ray factored into these numbers? Because you know, todays 32 ounce Similac package will be only 2 ounces 10 years from now – but still at the SAME LOW PRICE of course.

  13. WB987 says:

    We’re upper income, but both of us are in our 30s and don’t want kids because we like our freedom, we’re selfish, and both of us have pretty distant relationships with our parents. We’re not exactly looking to renew/flip that parent-child experience. We also realize our kid would likely go to an Ivy, so really, that’s more like $300,000-$500,000 from 1-21. We just don’t want to bear that cost. We’ve seen so many other couples stretch themselves to have a child– I realize that this is a relative observation as many other couples raise children with limited resources– and expose themselves to financial risk in doing so. We’d rather be mobile and able to adapt if either of us lost our income or randomly became disabled or any of the infinite other invisible risks we may carry.

    It’s sad that the cost for low-income families is so much lower. It’s not that they’re saving money, but that they can’t afford to spend as much and therefore provide their child with less. Which goes and perpetuates the systemic poverty and low social mobility of our poor. GAH THIS IS DEPRESSING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT I mean, not as depressing as actually being poor as I don’t want to compare or create a false equivalence that my pain is equal to theirs, but goddamn. This (should) weigh heavily on all of us.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      I feel your pain.

    • strayxray says:

      According to our cost estimators, if my 2-year old daughter goes to the only major in-state university in our state, it will cost us $352,000 for a 4-year degree (including room, board, tuition, fees, etc). I can’t imagine the cost for an Ivy-league school.

      That’s $352,000 that starts after the “$235,000” ends. :) Makes my mortgage seem like nothing, especially since I could take another 15 years after she’s in college to pay it off.

      • WB987 says:

        Oh for sure. That’s just current costs of about $60K a year for room/board/tuition. I’m not even trying to fathom what it would cost 16 or 18 years from now. But unless there’s some chemical switch that flips in our brains, that’s not a worry. We’ll just get to coast on our educations during our 40s and 50s while the population becomes less educated on average due to college being inaccessible. And instead of a kid, we’ll have a few rental properties or something. And a dog, to eventually inherit all the money. HOORAY!

  14. Pinget says:

    I hate these stories. 1. It scares a lot of people out of having kids. 2. How much does it cost to keep your own self alive? A lot more than $13K per year, I bet.

    • sqlrob says:

      You say #1 like it’s a bad thing.

      If you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s something you SHOULD be scared out of. It’s not talking about just you any more. This isn’t a fashion accessory we’re talking about here, it’s a person.

    • dolemite says:

      The planet is already overpopulated as-is. We dont need more and more breeding. I don’t plan on having kids, so I’ll enjoy lots and lots of freedom and excess $ while also helping the planet. This country will be an utter hell-hole to live in, in 50-100 years anyhow. Why would I want to subject someone I love to that?

      • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

        Yet it’s those who can actually afford to have more kids and provide for them not having more, and those who can’t provide on their own spitting out more and more.

  15. captadam says:

    I’ll file this one under “glad to be gay.”

  16. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    Ha, my parents never did shit for me except a roof, food, and new Nikes. I didn’t even care for the name brand shoes. I’d say they spent 1/15th of that on me.

    • Nobby says:

      I refuse to believe your parents let you run around naked except for Nike shoes. I’m sure they bought you at least one pair of socks to go with the pair of shoes they bought.

  17. smo0 says:

    Yet another reason not to breed.

  18. Nobby says:

    I have no problem paying for public schools that I don’t use, as that’s MY choice. I do have a problem with people getting tax breaks for kids THEY decided to have.

    Someone please explain why it’s like that.

    • airren says:

      I’m with you. I never understood why those who already pay for services they’ll never use also don’t get some sort of tax break.

  19. rockelscorcho says:

    That’s expensive! On top of that, the child might end up being a loser in which the cost rises! Can we return him/her if they fail in life too?

  20. chatterboxwriting says:

    “Start clipping coupons” sounds funny, but it’s actually a great way to keep costs manageable. I don’t have kids, but a friend of mine has two. If I am out shopping and see a great deal, and I have coupons to match, I’ll pick stuff up for her and she reimburses me. I have gotten her many containers of free formula because Similac sends out $5 checks all the time and then stores put the formula on sale for $4 or $5 per container. If you watch the drugstores, they often have rewards deals going on with diapers and wipes. With the right coupons, I was able to get 5 packages of diapers for $17 when they normally would have cost about $50. You don’t have to be a crazy extreme couponer to save a lot.

  21. j2.718ff says:

    Why 17 years? Legal adulthood isn’t achieved until 18, after all.

  22. StarKillerX says:

    “….. While the bulk of expense will be due to the cost of housing, at $70,500 ….”

    Did I miss a memo, are we required to buy our child their own house?

    Silly me, our son lives with us in our house, so while there is surely an increase in utilities and such due to a third person living there, and we’ve bought a few extra pieces of furniture that we otherwise wouldn’t have but all of it added together would be a small fraction of that amount.

  23. AgostoBehemoth says:

    If I hadn’t had kids… well, I’d have the cars I want in the garage. Corvette, F150 & a sedan, probably a place in the Outer Banks or Gulf Coast….

    But I raised 4 of them. And they’re good people. l have family. In the end, that is all that matters, love & family.

  24. DIRANONI says:


    Most are people are either poor or wealthy, the term applies to a sub-set of a sub-set

  25. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    “Middle-Income Parents Will Pay $8,000 More To Raise Kids Born In 2011 Than In 2010”

    And for the rest of the story:

    Middle-Income Taxpayers Will Pay $8,000 More To Raise Unemployed Parent’s Kids Born In 2011 Than In 2010