"Understanding the costs of raising children and planning for anticipated and unexpected life events is an important part of securing financial health,” said Louisa Quittman, who directs the Office of Financial Security at the Treasury Department.
Fewer Americans are having children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported last week that 3.9 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2015, down about 1 percent from 2014. In general, birth rates for younger women are falling, and they’re increasing for older women.
It’s not the strollers, baby clothes and toys that cost the most. The biggest cost by far is housing, which accounts for 29 percent of the extra costs of having a child. Food costs make up 18 percent of the calculation, while child care and education account for 16 percent.