On Monday the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced how much it cost to raise a child in 2007. The amount? $204,060 by a child’s 18th birthday. If you factor in inflation, it comes to $269,040. If you earn more than $77,100 per year, the amount rises to $298,680 or $393,230 including inflation. In 1960 it cost $25, 230 to raise a child to age 17, according to USDA. In 2007 dollars this comes to $177,614. So it costs 15 percent more today to raise a child. Breaking down the total, housing costs the most – 33 percent of expenses. Child care and education expenses rose considerably since 1960 (to 12 percent from 2 percent) while food costs fell. Obviously these are purely numbers. People don’t decide to have children based on how much it costs. How odd then to see Edmunds.com try to compare the cost of raising a child to the cost of owning a car. In the next blog entry I’ll share with you how much it costs annually to own various cars. I’ll leave it up to you to compare, if you want.

March 28, 2008.