Hat tip to Brian Page educator (and podcast guest) at Reading High School (Reading, Ohio) for tipping me off to this USDA Report.


Answer (you better thank your parents): $233,610

  • Full explanation of that figure: The estimated expense to raise a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610 (in 2015 dollars) for a middle-income (before-tax income between $59,200 and $107,400), married-couple family with two children.
  • Oh, but it doesn’t include college costs, per the report: “Expenditures estimated in this study are made on children from birth through age 17 for seven major budgetary components. One of the largest excluded expenses is the cost of a college education. The College Board (2016) estimated that in 2016-17, annual average (enrollment-weighted) tuition and fees were $9,650 at 4-year public colleges (in-State tuition) and $33,480 at 4-year private (non-profit) colleges; annual room and board was $10,440 at 4-year public colleges and $11,890 at 4-year private colleges. For 2-year colleges in 2016-17, annual average tuition and fees were $3,520 at public colleges.”

Knowing my inquisitive readers, I figured your next question was, “How does this break out by expense type?” From the report, the big four are housing, food, child care and education and transportation:



On the topic of budgets, check out one of NGPF’s most popular activities: Creating a Salary Based Budget