|Leonardo DaVinci's drawing of Foetus in Womb|
That means that over one quarter of a median household's income can be allocated to taking care of a child.
In the black community, however, Black Median Household income is only $35,481.
Another startling statistic is that about 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, a measurement that has been shown to underestimate the needs of families. (http://nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html) According to CNN, two out of every five black kids are living in poverty. A Pew Research analysis defined poverty as a family of four with two children that has income of less than $24,000 a year.
Families with lower incomes are expected to spend $174,690 and families with higher incomes are expected to spend $372,210 from birth through age 17. Many state governments use this annual report, first issued in 1960, as a resource in determining child support and foster care guidelines.
"As the economy continues to improve, USDA is committed to supporting the nutrition and health of individuals and families through our research and programs," said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. "This report, which we have produced for 55 years, gives families a greater awareness of the expenses they are likely to face, and serves as a valuable tool for financial planning and educational programs, as well as courts and state governments."
"Understanding the costs of raising children and planning for anticipated and unexpected life events is an important part of securing financial health. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, among other Federal agencies, has a wealth of information and tools that can help Americans plan for their future. MyMoney.gov can help you make a budget, find assistance with child care costs and save for emergencies or big purchases like a home or college education," said Louisa Quittman, Director of the Office of Financial Security for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Across the country, costs were highest in the urban Northeast, urban West, and urban South; while lowest in the urban Midwest and rural areas. Much of the regional variation in expenses was related to housing. Differences in child care and education expenses also contributed to regional variation. Overall, child-rearing expenses in rural areas were 24 percent lower than those in the region with the highest expenses, the urban Northeast.
It is important to note that child-rearing costs vary greatly depending on the number and ages of children in a household. As family size increases, costs per child generally decrease. Report author and CNPP economist Mark Lino, PhD emphasized how significantly costs are impacted by the number of children in a household.
As a result, compared to a child in a two-child family, families with one child spend 27 percent more on the only child and families with three or more children spend 24 percent less on each child.
CNPP economists used data from the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey to present the most recent and comprehensive estimates. The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2015, is available on the web at CNPP.usda.gov. The CNPP website also offers downloadable infographics and an interactive Cost of Raising a Child Calculator that can be used to view costs associated with different geographic locations, income levels and family sizes.