It costs nearly $250,000 to raise a child, so stop asking why Millennials are waiting to have one.
On Monday, the USDA published a report showing that a middle-income American family spent, on average, $245,340 to raise a child in 2013 — not including the cost of college.
According to the report, that figure marks a 1.8 percent increase from 2012, and a much higher increase from 1960, when the USDA first started tracking these numbers. In 1960, the average overall cost of rearing a child was $25,229, which translates to $198,560 in 2013 dollars.
The data follows a spate of research pointing out that young women are holding off on having children, relative to previous generations. In 1960, the average age of a first-time mother was 21.5. By 2012, that figure jumped to 25.8. Plus, relative to older generations, few Millennials are planning on having kids.
In light of the cost, and itemized breakdown, of rearing a child, those decisions seem totally rational.
The USDA found that 30 percent, or $73,602, of a family’s overall child-rearing budget goes towards housing:
According to USA Today, Americans in their mid-20s to -30s are less eager than their older counterparts to purchase a home:
From 2006 through 2011, 25- to 34-year-olds experienced the largest decline in homeownership compared with any other age group, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Census Bureau data. Among households headed by 25- to 34-year-olds, renters increased by more than a million from 2006 to 2011, while the number who own fell nearly 1.4 million, the analysis shows.
The Wall Street Journal has more:
Homeownership among Americans under age 35 hit the lowest level on record earlier this year, just as indebtedness among college grads notched a new high.
The Journal reports that the shift away from youth home-ownership could be tied to the high rate of student-loan debt. Higher debt can lead to lower credit scores, which in turn could affect a potential buyer’s ability to take out a loan she might need to make a down payment on a home. Plus, per CNN, “the country’s median income remains more than 8% below where it was before the recession, while child care and health care costs continue to grow faster than inflation.”
So not having kids — at least for now — seems like the responsible thing for many Millennials to do.
Written by Danielle Wiener-Bronner; edited by Margarita Noriega, image courtesy of the USDA.