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Thinking about having a kid? Here’s how much Canadians spend to raise one

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Aziz, Saba
Publication Date: 
3 Oct 2023


With the cost of living running high, raising children is not cheap in Canada.

According to new data released by Statistics Canada on Sept. 29, a middle-income family with two parents and two children spends on average $293,000 to raise one kid till the age of 17.

For lower-income families earning less than $83,013 per year before tax, this spending comes down to roughly $238,190.

Higher-income families — making more than $135,970 gross yearly — would spend about $403,910 per child.

If the children live five more years in the family home from the age of 18 to 22, that would mean an additional $68,000 to $117,000 spent per kid, and that varies depending on the family size and how much they earn, StatCan said.

The data is based on a survey of household spending for the years 2014 to 2017.

It found that families spent almost a third of their income on housing, 20 per cent on transportation, 17 per cent on food and 14 per cent on child care and education.

New child-care measures that have cut daycare fees by at least 50 per cent have offered some relief to parents across the country.


Even so, inflation, which rose to four per cent in August, a housing crisis and other financial pressures are leading some Canadians to think twice about having kids.

In 2022, the number of babies born in Canada dropped to a 17-year-low, according to a StatCan report released last week.

The high cost of living has magnified the size of the drop in births, one expert told Global News in a previous interview.