A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds the cost of raising kids from birth to age 17 has increased by $8,000 in the last two years. This brings the total to a whopping $235,000 for middle-income Americans.
In calculating the cost of raising kids, the USDA considers expenses for everything from housing and food (the two biggest expenses) to education, health care, clothing, transportation, and so on. The estimates for this year are 3.5% higher than those from last year, mainly due to increases in the costs of gas, food, education and child care.
Because the USDA focuses only on the expenses up to age 17, their estimates leave out one gigantic contributor to the cost of raising kids: college education. As every parent knows, these are considerable.