Survey tallies basic costs of rearing a child

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2001

Children are precious, no doubt. Now, figures released from a government survey attach a pricetag to those precious gifts we call our children.

In fact, the survey estimates parents of a baby born in the year 2000 will spend about $165,630 – or $233,530 when factoring for inflation – to rear their children over the next 17 years.

That’s approximately $812 per month, per child, before factoring for inflation. And that’s simply calculating the costs of food, shelter and other necessities. Private school tuition; college educations; extracurricular activities; and all the extras aren’t a part of that basic formula.

Email newsletter signup

The statistics provided by the USDA survey indicate an interesting trend. According to the Associated Press, the overall cost of raising a child has increased 13 percent from 1960, when a middle-income family could expect to spend $25,230 to raise a child for 17 years. Now, even the low-income families can expect to spend $121,230 to rear a child.

All of us agree that children are precious; and our investment of time and resources – both financial and physical – pales in comparison to the joy they bring to us.

And, while the costs may appear staggering when compiled in a survey like this, we must remember that these &uot;expenses&uot; are actually investments in our future and our society’s future. And we as a community and nation must work to support parents in making that investment. The recent tax rebate is a good step forward, as are tax breaks offered for parents who are saving and investing for college education.

We need to keep those issues top of mind, just as we keep our concern over our children’s future and safety in the forefront of our thoughts.