The cost of raising children in the U.S. per region

Costs for raising a two-year old in the Northeast U.S., with a two-parent household income of less than $61,680. Total costs: $14,075 <span class=meta>(USDA)</span>
How much does raising children cost in your area? You can find out that number now, thanks to a new online tool created by the USDA.

USDA Cost of Raising a Child Calculator, using information based on the USDA's most recent Expenditures on Children report, tells us how much parents will spend on yearly child care costs, such as food, clothing and education.

The tool asks just a few questions such as :
    What are the age of your children?
    Are you in a single or two-parent household?
    Which area of the U.S. do you live in?
    What is your annual before-tax household income?


Using this tool, we chose to compare the costs for raising a two-year old (named Jack), in a two-parent household, earning the lowest possible income bracket available for each region. While the tool can't give us exact numbers toward the nearest U.S. city, the data is still telling: where you live has a direct effect on your child care costs.

Northeast U.S. - Household earning less than $61,680.
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Housing: $4,600
Food: $1,600
Transportation: $1,425
Clothing: $925
Health care: $738
Child care and education: $4,225
Other: $563
Total costs: $14,075

Southern U.S. - Household earning less than $62,010.
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Housing: $3,500
Food: $1,513
Transportation: $1,438
Clothing: $813
Health care: $788
Child care and education: $2,675
Other: $388
Total costs: $11,113

Midwest U.S. - Household earning less than $61,300.
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Housing: $3,713
Food: $1,425
Transportation: $1,400
Clothing: $825
Health care: $800
Child care and education: $2,925
Other: $613
Total costs: $11,700

Western U.S. - Household earning less than $61,050.
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Housing: $4,650
Food: $1,563
Transportation: $1,613
Clothing: $888
Health care: $763
Child care and education: $2,738
Other: $713
Total costs: $12,925

Rural U.S. - Household earning less than $62,500.
Any town or municipality with a population of fewer than 2,500 people.

Housing: $2,388
Food: $1,338
Transportation: $1,638
Clothing: $825
Health care: $825
Child care and education: $2,488
Other: $500
Total costs: $10,000

With the USDA citing the national average cost of raising a 2 year-old to be $11,850, those living in the West and Northeastern U.S. will be paying, on average, much more.

Want to compare your average child-rearing costs to the national average? Calculate the results here.

Are you spending more or less than the national average on child care costs? Let us know in the comments below.

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