Raising a middle-class child will likely cost almost $286,000, according to USDA data

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Raising children is expensive in the United States, and families are feeling the pressure.

More than 12.5 million children in the U.S. live in poverty. Even middle-class families are increasingly struggling to pay for everyday expenses.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report using 2015 data that estimated expenses of child rearing from birth through age 17 in a middle-income family of two adults and two children is $233,610. With inflation, that number translates to almost $286,000 in 2022.

But adjusting for inflation may not be enough. … Child care costs have actually outpaced inflation. In 2020, child care expenses rose 5.03% year over year compared to the annual inflation rate of just 1.2% at the time.

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“The fact is that sending an infant to day care in many places across the country could be significantly more expensive than in-state public tuition to send them to college,” said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.


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