The price of parenthood during inflation: $300,000 per child

Your little miracle is expensive these days. Factoring in the cost of inflation, having a child costs more than a pretty penny for the average American.

The last time the government investigated the cost of raising a child, the US Department of Agriculture spat out a figure for a child born in 2015: $233,610.

It charted the costs associated with children, including food, childcare, extracurricular activities, transportation, healthcare, and clothing (although it forgot to factor in assorted plastic toys like pointy Legos and creepy LOL dolls).

These days, a middle-income married household with two children will likely spend $310,605 on that child born in 2015, according to Brookings comments at The Wall Street Journal. This breaks down to an average of $18,271 per year. The median household income in April 2022 is estimated at $76,563, according to SeekingAlpha.

Now consider the generation entering parenthood: millennials, many of whom have grappled with unprecedented debt loads and two recessions before they turn 40, and many of whom are navigating the notoriously expensive housing market in the US. pandemic era.

With tight finances, they are a little hesitant to start a family. The number of young adults who say they are not likely to have children rose from 37% to 44% from 2018 to 2022, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s no shock when you consider that the median price of a house is only $100,000 more than the cost of filling that house with a child.

In short, millennials might be forced to choose between buying Barbie’s dream house or having a mini-me. After all, the median selling price of a home is just over $100,000 more than having a child, or $412,739, according to Redfin.

Pushing back and choosing between the stages of life

Ask any billionaire you find on the street and they’ll tell you there’s a population problem. Warren Buffett is on the case potentially dividing his fortune for each child after his death. Elon Musk says he fights the problem by having twins. And although in 2021 the birth rate in the United States fell to its lowest level in more than a century, a recent United Nations report indicates that the world’s population shows no signs of slowing down.

The big expense of child care has become even harder to find and pay for throughout the current industry crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, when the cost of child care has increased by 41%, according to data from a LendingTree report in March. This high price has led young parents to spend an average of 20% of their income on child care for children under the age of 5, according to LendingTree.

As the cost of inflation has hit grocery stores, shopping for necessities for yourself and a tiny mouth becomes more difficult. And inflation has hit black, Native American and Latino families the hardest, as a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health found that more than half of households blacks and Latinos said spending was increasing. caused “serious financial problems”. For Native American respondents, that number jumped to more than two-thirds.

For wealthier Americans — and for the upper middle class who don’t feel wealthy but live in more expensive coastal towns — $300,000 is likely the minimum they’ll spend on a child, depending on factors like school private. And neither the USDA nor Brookings even step into the minefield of tuition.

As for buying a home in these competitive coastal markets? The median selling price of a home in the Big Apple these days is $825,000, per Redfin, and in 2022 median prices in Los Angeles cost potential homeowners $955,000.

But at least expectant parents in New York and California can currently count on their states to protect a woman’s right to choose how and when she should start a family. With the reversal of deer v. Wadesome families won’t even be able to make choices about their financial and life milestones.

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