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Washington Post Features

March 29, 2013

The cost of raising a child, from birth to age 17

According to figures from a number of sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Childbirthconnection.org, it’ll cost a total of $234,900 to raise a child from birth to age 17.

And that was as of two years ago, so the costs will be significantly higher this year.

Here are some of the breakdowns:

To educate and have your child cared for, it’ll cost you a total of $42,282 from nursery school to high school, which equates to 18 percent of the total child-rearing costs.

To keep your child healthy from birth to age 17, it’ll run you $18,792, and that’s just for regular healthcare visits, not medical emergencies or unforeseen hospital stays.

But before your child has the chance to get hurt and dragged off to the emergency room, you’ll be paying at least $9,617 for the delivery and everything leading up to it.

Once your child is delivered, food and nourishment costs will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $37,584 for all meals.

Housing and transportation

In 1960 the average mortgage payment was $527 per month and $6,323 per year. In 2011, it was $1,061 monthly and $12,732 each year, and once you throw in maintenance, taxes and other costs for a home, that amount will be pushed up.

Then there are transportation costs, which will make up about 14 percent of the amount it takes to raise a child, leaving parents to pay a sum of $32,886 for the vehicle and giving your child money for public transportation.

The gasoline that will be used on each child will cost somewhere in the area of $19,000, and that amount can obviously go up or down, depending on gas prices.

Childcare costs

Most people know how ridiculously expensive it can be, which is why many new parents reach out to grandma or a close family member who will watch their child either for free or for a very low amount.

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