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Raising 2007 baby to 18 in U.S. will cost $204,060
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-03-26 17:31
Middle-income Ameircan families can expect to spend 204,060 dollars on feeding, housing and schooling a child born in 2007 until his or her 18th birthday.

Child care and education costs will represent a larger share of costs than they have in the past, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Monday in an annual study on child-rearing costs.

"The cost of providing food decreased from 24 percent to 17 percent of total child-rearing costs, while child care and education expenses increased from 2 percent to 12 percent," the department said.

Housing will be the single largest cost for U.S. families -- making up 33 to 27 percent of total expenses across income groups.

Factoring in inflation, the grand total for middle-income families comes to 269,040 dollars, USDA said. Total costs also include transportation, health care, and other necessities.

Child-rearing costs have soared since USDA began conducting its annual study in 1960, and can vary dramatically according to a family's income.

Families making less than 45,800 dollars before taxes can expect to spend less, 148,320 in real terms over the course of their child's first 17 years. Those on the other end of the income spectrum, making more than 77,100 dollars a year, will spend 298,680 in 2007 dollars on raising their '07 child.

Even though the study does not include the cost of college, USDA found that children get more expensive as they get older. Teenagers are the most costly.

The department also noted that child-rearing costs are the greatest in the urban West, and lowest in the urban Midwest and rural areas across the country.

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