The costs of raising children in the U.S. continue to climb

On June 14th, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its 2011 cost estimates for raising children in the U.S. (see “A Child Born in 2011 Will Cost $234,900 to Raise According to USDA Report“). According to this report, the average cost of raising a child in the U.S. rose 3.5% from 2010 and rose 22.5% from 1960 (in 2011 dollars), the first year these data were collected. (Note the USDA cautions that its methodology has changed over the years so comparisons between now and 1960 are not “precisely comparable). The share of expenditures has changed dramatically in certain categories like child care and education, food, and health care. The following chart is from the end of the publication (click image for a larger view), and it demonstrates the big differences in how children are raised now versus 50 years ago:

Expenditures on a child from birth through age 17, total expenses and budgetary component shares, 1960 versus 2011

Expenditures on a child from birth through age 17, total expenses and budgetary component shares, 1960 versus 2011

The amount families spend on children varies greatly based on household income, so these averages hide even more interesting stories. For example:

“A family earning less than $59,410 per year can expect to spend a total of $169,080 (in 2011 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, middle-income parents with an income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $234,900; and a family earning more than $102,870 can expect to spend $389,670.”

It is clear from the report that the costs increase according to income because of choices families make. Thus, it is not quite accurate to say child-rearing gets more expensive with income. Instead, families tend to choose to spend more on their children the more income at their disposal.

Read/download the full report here.


Education at California’s public universities gets more expensive again – UC has doubled in six years

For the second time in a year, University of California (UC) Regents voted in a hike in tuition. Tuition has now increased over 18% for the academic year and has now more than doubled in six years.

Interestingly enough, the Vice President of Budget and Capital Resources received approval for a 10% pay increase at the same meeting.

Tuition in the California State university system was increased 12%. At the same time, San Diego State’s president was approved for a salary 33% higher than the previous president. His salary is now a whopping $400,000.

At least administrators can continue to afford to send their children to California’s public universities!

For more see:
UC Regents hike tuition – again
Capitol Alert: UC regents vote to increase tuition
Cal State trustees raise tuition 12%


Cost of private school is up 79% over 10 years in New York City

The Wall Street Journal reports that for the first time ever a private school in new York City will charge over $40,000 per year for tuition. This is part of a larger upward trend in prices that has pushed the cost of private education in New York City up 79% over the last 10 years:

“The Riverdale Country School will charge $40,450 for high-school students in the coming year, the first time a New York private school has topped $40,000 in annual tuition.

Tuition costs at the city’s private schools, which breached $30,000 just five years ago, have climbed 79% in the past decade. The best schools have no trouble getting enough students.”

Interestingly enough, the affluent parents who pay these tuition charges – charges that are comparable and sometimes higher than the cost of Ivy League colleges – are apparently not complaining!

The article includes cost comparisons at the city’s top independent high schools.