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The cost of raising kids, in two charts

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Now there’s an official price tag for parenthood: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has calculated that it costs $234,900 on average to raise a child, not including college costs. That’s about 23 percent more than it cost to raise kids in 1960. Source: USDA

The biggest jumps in spending were on health care, which doubled from 4 to 8 percent of total costs, and child care, which shot up from 2 to 18 percent of total costs, given the rise in women working outside the home. On the other hand, technological advance have helped curb expenses on food and clothing. The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has produced the report since 1960.

The USDA notes, in perfectly dry bureaucrat-speak, that the “considerable” cost of raising children “may be outweighed by the benefits of children.”

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