A new estimate from the Brookings Institution reveals the cost of raising a single child through their high school years — particularly one born in 2015 — has now eclipsed $300,000.
The primary cause of this assessment approaching four-year highs, relative to Brookings' research: Inflation rates.
From its findings, Brookings asserts that a married, middle-income couple with two children would spend $310,605 — or a yearly average of $18,271 — to raise the younger child born in 2015, through age 17.
The calculations relied on a 2017 Agriculture Department estimate as a baseline, with adjustments for inflation trends.
Here's another noteworthy estimate: The multiyear total of raising just one child has reportedly gone up more than 9% — or $26,011 — based on inflation rates from two years ago.
The Brookings estimates cover portions of Donald Trump's presidency (2017-21), including the period when the U.S. was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic shutdown.
For 2019 and 2020, however, the final full two years of Trump's tenure, the U.S. inflation rates were 2.3% and 1.4%, respectively; and for President Joe Biden's follow-up time in office, the country's inflation rates have increased to 7% (2021) and 8.5% (2022).
In that vein, the next wave of child-raising estimates could be considerably higher.
Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at Brookings, recently told The Wall Street Journal: "We know [U.S. inflation is] very high right now, but we also know that the Fed is stepping on the brakes very hard and that it's going to come down. We don't know how fast and to what level and how long it will stay somewhat elevated."
The Journal also reports that, even though inflation and gasoline prices have eased over the last month, food prices at grocery stores remain exorbitant.
Prices for food at home were up 13.1% in July compared with the same month in 2021, according to the consumer price index.
According to Sawhill, who holds a doctorate in economics, rising expenses for raising a family could become overwhelming for lower-income parents.
The childcare market has also exploded in recent years, but the costs of hiring and identifying high-quality nannies, preschools and nursery schools continue to be prohibitive.
According to Care.com, "51% of parents say they spend more than 20% of their household income on child care, and 72% of parents report spending 10% or more."
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