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.
Health care: $738
Child care and education: $4,225
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.
Health care: $788
Child care and education: $2,675
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.
Health care: $800
Child care and education: $2,925
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.
Health care: $763
Child care and education: $2,738
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.
Health care: $825
Child care and education: $2,488
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.