The $221,000 child

A middle-class family will spend $221,000 to raise a child born in 2008 to age 17, estimates a government report. That doesn’t include college. From Time:

The report by the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion identified housing as the largest single expense, followed by food and child care/education costs.

However, the study overestimates the cost of a kid, argues

First of all, the USDA did not measure what it costs to raise a child, but rather what parents of differing income levels actually spend. There is an important difference between the two.

Second, the methodology behind the USDA, is goofy, as even its own study notes. For example, the largest part of the “cost” of raising children in that $200,000 estimate is more than $53,000 for housing costs. How did the USDA arrive at that figure? It simply assumes that if a couple has two children and a house valued at $200,000, then each family member incurs $50,000 in housing costs,

An Oregon State study urges adults to reduce their “carbon footprint” by having fewer children. It also helps to stay married and get married, so you’ll maintain only one household for two people.

We’ve been hosting my husband’s first grandchild, Baby Julia. She’s definitely a big-footprint child.