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Expenditures on children by families 2015

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Lino, Mark; Kuczynski, Kevin; Rodriguez, Nestor & Schap, TusaRebecca
Publication Date: 
8 Jan 2017



Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the most recent estimates for married couple and single-parent families using data from the 2011-15 Consumer Expenditure Survey (all data presented in 2015 dollars). Data and methods used in calculating annual child-rearing expenses are described. Estimates are provided for married-couple and single-parent families with two children for major components of the budget by age of child, family income, and region of residence. For the overall United States, annual child-rearing expense estimates ranged between $12,350 and $13,900 for a child in a two-child, married-couple family in the middle-income group. Adjustment factors for households with less than or greater than two children are also provided. Expenses vary considerably by household income level, region, and composition, emphasizing that a single estimate may not be applicable to all families. Results of this study may be of use in developing State child support and foster care guidelines, as well as public health and family-centered educational programs.