In 2009 the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion completed a study chronicling the lifetime cost of raising a child in the United States. Expenditures on Children by Families, 2009, shows that raising a child in 2010 will be 22% more costly than it was in 1960.
Adjustments for 2009 dollars show that 5 years ago middle-income parents spent--not including pregnancy costs or tuition-- a total of $182,857 to raise one child through age 17, today parents spend $222,360. The government survey studied 11,800 husband-wife families and 3,350 single-parent households.
According to the Huffington Post, the jump in cost can be attributed to two spending areas: healthcare and education. Today, middle income parents spend twice as much on health costs and put 17% of their child-rearing expenditures toward child care and education, as opposed to 2% in 1960.
A cost analysis of the report shows how a middle-income, husband and wife family with two children would spend $222,360 on one child over 17 years.
>$13,341 on clothing expenses. Diapers, clothing, footwear and dry cleaning account for 6% of total child expenditures.
>$17,778 on health care. Health care expenses not covered by insurance account for about 8% of the cost of raising a child.
>$20,012 on miscellaneous expenses. i.e. Personal care items, entertainment, television, computers, non-school reading material total 9% of child rearing costs.
>$28,906 on transportation, nearly 13% or an average of $1065/ year.
>$35,577 on food or about 16% of child rearing costs.
>$37,801 on child care and education. 17% of the cost to raise a child.
>$68931 on housing, nearly one third or 31%.